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European Commission proposes to invest 1 billion euro in world-class European supercomputers

The European Commission has unveiled its plans to invest jointly with the Member States in building a world-class European supercomputers infrastructure, confirming its commitment to EuroHPC. This step is crucial for the European Union's competitiveness and independence in the data economy, says the Commission. Today, European scientists and industry increasingly process their data outside the EU because their needs are not matched by the computation time or computer performance available in the EU. This lack of independence threatens privacy, data protection, commercial trade secrets, and ownership of data in particular for sensitive applications.

A new legal and funding structure - the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking - shall acquire, build and deploy across Europe a world-class High-Performance Computing (HPC) infrastructure. It will also support a research and innovation programme to develop the technologies and machines (hardware) as well as the applications (software) that would run on these supercomputers.

The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking (JU) is a legal and funding entity which will enable pooling of the Union's and national resources on High-Performance Computer (HPC) with the aim of:

- acquiring and providing a world-class pre-exascale supercomputing infrastructure to Europe's scientific and industrial users, matching their demanding application requirements by 2020;
- developing exascale supercomputers based on competitive EU technology that the Joint Undertaking could acquire around 2022/2023, and that would be ranking among the top three places in the world.

The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking builds on the declaration launched in Rome in March 2017 and signed by several European countries that are committed to upgrading European computing power.

The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking will develop a clear strategy for innovation procurement of exascale machines based on competitive European technologies. By developing the prospect of creating a lead market for exascale technology in Europe, the EuroHPC JU will help the European suppliers to take the risk to develop such machines on their own.

The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking will be composed of public and private members:

- the European Union, represented by the Commission,
- the 13 Member States and associated countries which have already signed the EuroHPC Declaration,
- the representatives from the supercomputing and Big Data stakeholders, including academia and industry.

Other countries can join the Joint Undertaking at any moment, provided they contribute financially to its objectives.

The governance structure of the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking will be composed of the following entities:

- The Governing Board (representatives of the public members) will be responsible for the Joint Undertaking decision making, including funding decisions related to all the procurements and Research & Innovation (R&I) activities. Voting rights will be proportional to the financial contributions of its members.
- The Industrial and Scientific Advisory Board (representatives of the private members, academia and industry): will be responsible for elaborating the R&I agenda on technology, applications, and skills development.

The Ministry of Economy in Luxembourg has announced that the seat of the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking will be in Luxembourg. The ministry expects its establishment in the second half of 2018. The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking is foreseen to start operating in 2019 and will remain operational until the end of 2026.

The EU's contribution in EuroHPC will be around 486 million euro under the current Multiannual Financial Framework, matched by a similar amount from Member States and associated countries. Overall, around 1 billion euro of public funding would be invested by 2020, and private members of the initiative would also add in kind contributions.

Andrus Ansip, European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, stated: "Supercomputers are the engine to power the digital economy. It is a tough race and today the EU is lagging behind: we do not have any supercomputers in the world's top-ten. With the EuroHPC initiative we want to give European researchers and companies world-leading supercomputer capacity by 2020 - to develop technologies such as artificial intelligence and build the future's everyday applications in areas like health, security or engineering."

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, added: "Supercomputers are already at the core of major advancements and innovations in many areas directly affecting the daily lives of European citizens. They can help us to develop personalised medicine, save energy and fight against climate change more efficiently. A better European supercomputing infrastructure holds great potential for job creation and is a key factor for the digitisation of industry and increasing the competitiveness of the European economy."

More information about the European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking - EuroHPC is available at http://eurohpc.eu. hhhttp://eurohpc.eu http://eurohpc.euhttp://eurohpc.eu