“We are very pleased that Switzerland – one of our long-time partners in high-performance computing – is joining the European effort to develop supercomputers in Europe. This will enhance Europe’s leadership in science and innovation, help grow the economy and build our industrial competitiveness.” Said Vice-President Andrus Ansip, in charge of the Digital Single Market, and Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, welcomed this new commitment.
Switzerland is the 11th country to sign the EuroHPC declaration on high-performance computing (HPC) that aims at developing a world-class supercomputing infrastructure based on European technology. An integrated world-class high-performance computing infrastructure capable of at least 1018 calculations per second (so-called exascale computers) will additionally benefit the daily lives of European citizens: for example, from personalised medicine to safer transport systems or increased online fraud detection. Additionally to the signature ceremony, Commission published today the first results of the public consultation on high-performance computing. The respondents identified three main problems as harming the HPC development in Europe: limited interaction between industry and academia, deep fragmentation of HPC programmes and Europe’s dependency on non-EU suppliers for critical technologies and systems. The lack of sufficient resources and insufficient access to HPC resources for science were also flagged during the consultation. A clear majority of respondents confirmed the need for action at EU level. The results of the consultation will help the Commission to define a new legal and financial instrument by the end of 2017, building on the EuroHPC declaration and goals. The EuroHPC declaration was originally launched and signed in Rome in March 2017 during the Digital Day by France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. Belgium signed the declaration in June 2017, Slovenia in July 2017, and Bulgaria last week. All other Member States are invited to join in the future.