Greece signs the European declaration on high-performance computing


Greece is the 12th country to sign the European declaration on high-performance computing (HPC). With this signature, Greece agreed to join the European effort to build the next generation of computing and data infrastructures.


The EuroHPC declaration has been signed today in Athens by Costas Fotakis, Alternate Minister for Education, Research and Religious Affairs.


Vice-President Ansip, responsible for the Digital Single Market, and Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society welcome this important step for EuroHPC:


We are very pleased that Greece is now part of this ambitious European project. By joining forces, we can lead in both the production and use of HPC technology in Europe and open the way to new innovative applications to benefit people, such as designing and simulating new medical treatments.


Costas Fotakis, Alternate Minister for Education, Research and Religious Affairs added:


Computers are, nowadays, a basic tool for a vast variety of applications of societal, scientific and technological interest; the more demanding a task is, the higher computing performance it requires. Greece enthusiastically joins the European Commission and the 11 countries that have signed the declaration of the HPC initiative to develop innovative European high-performance and low-energy-consumption processors and exascale systems for the benefit of society.  Greece is proud to possess highly-skilled human resources, fully ready to contribute to this initiative both in terms of technology development and operation of HPC infrastructures in order to serve the needs of the scientific community that increasingly needs access to HPC facilities. We look forward to the benefits stemming from  HPC for the development of a Knowledge based Economy, capable of facing present and future challenges in the country.


The EuroHPC declaration was launched during the Digital Day in March 2017 and signed by France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain (see the press statement, speech and blog post by Vice-President Ansip). Four other countries have since joined this bold European initiative: Belgium in June, Slovenia in July, Bulgaria and Switzerland in October.


The EuroHPC agreement aims at acquiring and deploying an integrated world-class HPC infrastructure, available across the EU.  It will upraise Europe’s scientific capabilities and industrial competitiveness by supporting a wide range of users: scientific communities, large industry and SMEs, as well as the public sector, no matter where the computers are located.


The signatory countries agreed on working together to establish a world-class HPC ecosystem by acquiring and operating world-class high-performance computers and also by building the key technology blocks (low power processor up to systems architecture, software tools and applications) in Europe.  The aim is to have EU exascale supercomputers in the global top three by 2022-2023.


Why HPC matters


HPC is at the core of major advances and innovations in the digital age, where to out-compute is to out-compete, and it is a key technology for science, industry, and society at large.


HPC is essential to address major scientific and societal challenges such as early detection and treatment of diseases (e.g. understanding cancer generation and evolution), new therapies (based on personalised and precision medicine, genome sequencing, etc.), deciphering the human brain, forecasting climate evolution, observing the space, preventing and managing large-scale natural disasters, designing renewable energy parks, accelerating the design of new polymers, etc. Its use has a growing critical impact on industries and businesses by significantly reducing design and production cycles, minimising costs, increasing resource efficiency, as well as shortening and optimising decision processes.



Next steps


The European Commission, together with countries which have signed the declaration are preparing, by the end of 2017, a roadmap with implementation milestones to deploy the European exascale supercomputing infrastructure.


All other Member States and countries associated to Horizon 2020 are encouraged to join EuroHPC and work together, and with the European Commission, in this initiative.