EuroHPC

EuroHPC will permit the EU and participating countries to coordinate their efforts and share resources with the objective of deploying in Europe a world-class supercomputing infrastructure and a competitive innovation ecosystem in supercomputing technologies, applications and skills.

The Joint Undertaking is a legal and funding entity whose mission is to develop, extend and maintain in the EU an integrated world-class supercomputing and data infrastructure, and to develop and support a highly competitive and innovative High-Performance Computing ecosystem.

The Joint Undertaking will pool EU and national resources in High-Performance Computing with the aim of:

  • acquiring and providing a world-class petascale and pre-exascale supercomputing and data infrastructure for Europe's scientific, industrial and public users, matching their demanding application requirements by 2020. This would be widely available to users from the public and private sector, to be used primarily for research purposes;
  • supporting an ambitious research and innovation agenda to develop and maintain in the EU a world-class High-Performance Computing ecosystem, exascale and beyond, covering all scientific and industrial value chain segments, including low-power processor and middleware technologies, algorithms and code design, applications and systems, services and engineering, interconnections, know-how and skills for the next generation supercomputing era.

High Performance Computing in Europe: the state of play

The computing and data needs of European scientists and industry do not currently match the computation capabilities available in the EU. No EU supercomputer is in the global top 10, and the existing ones depend on non-European technology. This brings an increasing risk for the EU of being deprived of the strategic or technological know-how for innovation and competitiveness. This situation may create problems related to privacy, data protection, commercial trade secrets or ownership of data.

In addition, Europe consumes about 29% of HPC resources worldwide today, but the EU industry provides only ~5% of such resources.

The EU response to the above is to invest together in an ambitious supercomputing infrastructure strategy. The EU’s ambition is to become one of the world leaders in supercomputing.

Firstly, with regards to the infrastructure, EuroHPC will permit to buy and install two machines by 2020 that will be among the top 5 in the world, and another 3-4 machines that today would be ranging in the global top 25. These machines will be interconnected with the existing national supercomputers and will be made available throughout Europe, to public and private users for developing leading scientific and industrial applications.

Secondly, concerning the innovation ecosystem, EuroHPC investments will benefit the development of the European supercomputing supply industry and many high-end applications. For example, one major target of EuroHPC will be to develop a European low power microprocessor technology that will make Europe autonomous in a technology that is essential for many emerging markets, such as for future driverless cars, data servers or smart phones. Another major target for EuroHPC will be to support the development of leading applications in a large number of social, scientific and industrial domains that would permit the maintenance of Europe’s leadership in existing application sectors. This would develop novel ones in high added-value areas such as personalised medicine, bioengineering or smart cities.

Members

The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking is composed of public and private members:

  • the EU (represented by the European Commission);
  • EU Member States and associated countries that have chosen to join;
  • representatives from the supercomputing and big data stakeholders, including academia and industry;

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

EuroHPC Declaration map

Governance

The Members of the Joint Undertaking are the following:

  • the European Union, represented by the Commission;
  • Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain;
  • the European Technology Platform for High-Performance Computing (ETP4HPC) Association and the Big Data Value Association (BDVA).

Provided that they contribute in accordance with the JU Regulation, Member States or countries associated with Horizon 2020 that are not listed above shall become members of the Joint Undertaking, upon notification to the Governing Board of their written acceptance of these Statutes, and of any other provisions governing the functioning of the Joint Undertaking.

There are three bodies in the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking:

  1. The Governing Board, composed of representatives of the EU and Participating States. The Commission and each Participating State appoint one representative in the Governing Board. Each representative may be accompanied by one expert.

    Responsibilities: The Governing Board is responsible for strategic policy making and funding decisions related to the activities of the Joint Undertaking, in particular for all the public procurement activities and the research and innovation actions. The EU holds 50% of the voting rights through the Commission representative. The voting rights of the EU are indivisible; the rest of the voting rights are distributed among the Participating States according to the following lines:

    Voting Rights: For the general administrative tasks of the Joint Undertaking, the voting rights of the Participating States should be distributed equally among them.

    For the tasks corresponding to setting up the work plan for the acquisition of supercomputers, the selection of the hosting entity and the research and innovation activities of the Joint Undertaking, the voting rights of the Participating States that are Member States are based on the principle of qualified majority. The Participating States that are countries associated with Horizon 2020 hold voting rights for the tasks corresponding to the research and innovation activities.

    For the tasks corresponding to the acquisition and operation of supercomputers, only those Participating States and the EU that contribute resources to the procurement of petascale supercomputers and the total cost of ownership of pre-exascale supercomputers have voting rights proportional to their contribution.

  2. The Industrial and Scientific Advisory Board, composed of representatives of academia and industry as users and technology suppliers. It provides independent advice to the Governing Board on the strategic research and innovation agenda and on the acquisition and operation of the supercomputers owned by the Joint Undertaking. This Board is composed of two Advisory Groups:
    • The Research and Innovation Advisory Group: ccomposed of no more than 12 members, where no more than six are appointed by the Private Members taking into account their commitments to the Joint Undertaking and no more than six are appointed by the Governing Board.
      This Advisory Group draws up and regularly update the draft multiannual strategic research and innovation agenda. This draft multiannual strategic research and innovation agenda shall identify research and innovation priorities for the development and adoption of technologies and key competences for High-Performance Computing across different application areas in order to support the development of an integrated High-Performance Computing ecosystem in the EU, strengthen competitiveness and help create new markets and societal applications.
    • The Infrastructure Advisory Group: composed of no more than 12 members appointed by the Governing Board. This Advisory Group provides advice to the Governing Board for the acquisition and operation of the petascale and pre-exascale supercomputers, drawing up and regularly updating the draft multiannual strategic agenda for such acquisition.

  3. The Executive Director; chief executive responsible for day-to-day management of the Joint Undertaking in accordance with the decisions of the Governing Board and is the legal representative of the Joint Undertaking.

Next steps

The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking will support activities through procurement and open Calls in 2019 and 2020, and will initially operate from 2019 to 2026. Its governance is being established (the first Governing Board meeting takes place on 6 November 2018).

The EuroHPC JU foresees the initial co-investment with Member States of about EUR 1 billion, out of which EUR 486 million come from the actions already planned by the Commission in Horizon 2020 and Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programmes in the current Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). An additional EUR ~422 million will be contributed by private or industrial players in the form of in-kind contributions to the JU activities.

This level of funding will kick-start the activities to address the overall European HPC strategy, mainly: to acquire two pre-exascale machines and several petascale systems by 2020, and R&I actions covering the full HPC ecosystem launched in 2019 and 2020, including the support for HPC Competence Centres. A minimum of EUR 180 million will be dedicated to implement the R&I agenda with indirect actions.

Further funds in the next MFF (under discussion) would allow a full coverage of the HPC strategy, where we expect to have similar support from the Member States to continuing the present EuroHPC JU in the 2021-2028 period, with the already agreed strategic objectives.

These objectives include the acquisition in 2022-2023 of two exascale systems, at least one of them with European technology, one post-exascale system, networking and coordination of HPC Competence Centres, support for the first hybrid HPC / Quantum computing infrastructure in Europe, and coordination with the other digital priorities like Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity and digital skills. The Commission proposal foresees EUR 2.7 million for HPC in the Digital Europe Programme, complemented with Research and Innovation actions for HPC and Big Data in the Horizon Europe programme.

EuroHPC will be supported in the next MFF from the Digital Europe Programme (DEP), in which EUR 2.7 million are earmarked for HPC in the EC proposal and from Horizon Europe.

DEP support will focus on large-scale digital capacity and infrastructure building, aiming at a wide uptake and deployment across Europe of critical existing or tested innovative digital solutions. Horizon Europe will focus on R&I needs related to identified digital aspects (including for HPC) and established in the Horizon Europe strategic research and innovation plans. HPC research activities in Horizon Europe will provide the supply of technology and applications for the infrastructure development and capacity-building activities foreseen in DEP.

Additional investments from structural funds (ERDF) will be essential to build national and European supercomputing infrastructure and to co-invest in the next generation (exascale and beyond) and the networking of supercomputing centres and the development of applications, notably in areas of public interest (health, public administration, climate, etc.). Therefore, synergies should be put in place for the deployment and innovation actions funded through DEP, which have a common European Interest or projects with regional relevance jointly funded by DEP and ERDF.

Vacancies

For the moment there are not currently vacancies available.

Benefits of the supercomputing

Benefits for citizens

Supercomputing is a critical tool for understanding and responding to complex challenges, for example, simulations to reduce the environmental footprint of industry and society at large, or predicting the impact of severe weather conditions.

Supercomputing is of critical importance: it can provide accurate simulations that predict the evolution of weather patterns, as well as the size and paths of storms and floods. This is key to activate early warning systems to save human lives and reduce damages to our properties and public infrastructures.

For example, one of our biggest problems is to understand and adapt to increasingly damaging effects of climate change: 33% of the world’s GDP is affected by the weather. Every year, extreme weather events have an estimated impact in Europe of EUR 400 billion, affecting around a 5% of the European population and causing about 3000 deaths annually.

Benefits for industry

Supercomputing enables traditional sectors to become more productive and to scale up to higher value products and services.

Supercomputing has a growing impact on industries and businesses by significantly reducing product design and production cycles, accelerating the design of new materials, minimising costs, increasing resource efficiency and shortening and optimising decision processes.

For instance, the European car industry provides jobs for 12 million people and accounts for 4% of the EU GDP. European carmakers are expanding their efforts to build the computing capacity they will need as vehicles digitise and become driverless. In fact, they are now hiring more information technology specialists than mechanical engineers.

Benefits for science

Supercomputing is at the heart of the digital transformation of science. It enables leading-edge research to answer fundamental science questions and make new discoveries and breakthroughs. Today, more than 700 scientific applications depend on HPC.

Supercomputing and Big Data analysis provide scientists with deeper insights into previously unexplored areas and systems of the highest complexity, driving the innovation and discovery of almost all scientific disciplines. Major scientific challenges that HPC help to address include decoding the functioning of the human brain or predicting the development of the Earth’s climate.

Supercomputing is critical for discovering new drugs, and developing and targeting medical therapies for the individual needs and conditions of patients experiencing cancer, cardiovascular or Alzheimer’s diseases and rare genetic disorders.

For example, supercomputing was instrumental for the Chemistry Nobel Prize winners in 2013 to model the complex interactions between different atoms and molecules, combining quantum and classical physics.