Cyprus has recently signed the European Declaration on High Performance Computing (EuroHPC), becoming the 15th signatory country, while the Austrian Government is examining participation.
On 23 March 2017, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain signed the EuroHPC Declaration. Since then, they have been joined by Belgium (June 2017), Slovenia (July 2017), Bulgaria (October 2017), Switzerland (October 2017), Greece (November 2017), Croatia (November 2017), Czech Republic (January 2018) and Cyprus (February 2018).
These countries agreed to build a world-class HPC infrastructure that would rank among the world’s top by 2022-2023. More specifically, by signing the declaration, the countries marked their intention to join the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking that will pool European resources to develop top-of-the-range exascale supercomputers for processing big data. To support this effort, €1 billion will be invested by the European Commission and Member States in building world-class supercomputers infrastructure by 2020. Private contributions will also add in to this public funding.
Beyond these developments, there is also a political will to position the European Union (EU) in this area. The Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU which runs until 30 June 2018, intends to focus on “strategic areas where the potential of digital research infrastructure can be put to the best use, as well as on wide and free access to publications and data, including through the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), and high-performance computing initiatives, such as EuroHPC”.It can therefore be assumed that more countries will join the EuroHPC Declaration in the coming months.
In the past months, HPC has gained a lot of traction at EU level. This is mainly due to the fact that none of the EU supercomputers are currently in the global top 10 and the existing ones depend on non-European technology. Despite investments both at national and EU level, compared to its competitors from USA, China or Japan, Europe is clearly underinvesting in HPC with a funding gap of €500-750 million per year. At the moment, EU industry provides about 5% of HPC resources worldwide, but uses one third of them.
More information on the EuroHPC Declaration and Joint Undertaking can be found here.