Eight cities have been chosen to host the first European supercomputers within the initiative carried out by the EU and a group of European countries, one of which is Maribor in Slovenia. In addition to Maribor, the supercomputers will be located in Sofia (Bulgaria), Ostrava (Czech Republic), Kajaani (Finland), Bologna (Italy), Bissen (Luxembourg), Minho (Portugal) and Barcelona (Spain).
The purpose of these computers is to help researchers, industry and business in a whole range of fields, from preparing medicines and new materials to fighting climate change, and they are installed as part of the European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC). The project of managing supercomputer centers will involve 19 of the 28 countries, and the total budget for the project is EUR 840 million.
Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip, stated:
– These sites will give our researchers access to world-class supercomputers, a strategic resource for the future of European industry. They will be able to process their data inside the EU, not outside it. It is a major step forward for Europe to reach the next level of computing capacity; it will help us to advance in future-oriented technologies like the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, robotics and data analytics.
The aim is to equip the EU with world-class supercomputer infrastructure by the end of 2020. The next step in the project will be to procure 3 pre-exascale machines (capable of executing more than 150 Petaflop/s, that will be in the global top 5, and 5 petascale machines (capable of executing at least 4 Petaflop/s), the European Commission says in a press release.
The new supercomputers are supposed to boost Europe's competitiveness in the digital area.