Ministers from seven European countries have signed a declaration in Rome, as they set their sights on seizing a share of the supercomputer future.
The joint vision is for a hi-tech infrastructure that can process more than a thousand calculations a second. But it is a project that is cash hungry.
“It’s difficult even for big EU member states to find alone those finances and it’s reasonable to cooperate to put those finances together, to create new exa-scale computer capacities,” European Commission Vice-President Andrus Ansip explained to Euronews.
At the moment, EU industry provides about five percent of high-performance computing resources worldwide, but consumes a third of them.
The new infrastructure will be available to scientific communities, industry and the public sector.
“This initiative will only be successful, and I think it will be, if we team up together. There are other countries (outside Europe) that are allocating more resources,” commented Carmen Vela, Spanish Secretary of State.
“We have a huge advantage, we have knowledge. Europe has a lot of knowledge and we can overcome the lack of resources with the sum of all of us.”
The new infrastructure will also help create a European Science Cloud – a huge network of 1.7 million European researchers and 70 million professionals.
“The core investor group, those countries that normally are supplying the highest super computer capabilities to the others,” said Roberto Viola, from DG Connect (European Commission Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology).
“So it’s rather normal that those are the countries that sign first, but all the other countries have already signaled that they are interested.”