The European Commission is planning to ramp up investment in high performance computing (HPC), in an effort to boost European expertise in this field and limit the reliance of European industry on HPC systems from outside the region.
Announced today, the Commission's plan is to double its investment in HPC from €630m to €1.2bn, with an aim of producing "exa-scale" computers by 2020 capable of performing 1018 operations per second.
HPC has been identified as a key area for investment, owing to the competitive advantage it offers in industries such as automotive and aviation, as well as applications for improving healthcare through brain imaging, for example.
According to the Commission, 97 per cent of European organisations that currently employ HPC consider it indispensable for their ability to innovate, compete and survive.
"High performance computing is a crucial enabler for European industry and for more jobs in Europe. It's investments like HPC that deliver innovations improving daily life. We've got to invest smartly in this field because we cannot afford to leave it to our competitors," said Neelie Kroes, European Commission vice-president responsible for the Digital Agenda.
Part of the Commission's plan is to stimulate the market for HPC systems in Europe by supporting more acquisitions, as well as boosting use of HPC by industry and SMBs, as well as establishing centres of excellence for HPC applications in areas such as energy, life sciences and climate simulation.
The Commission also said it intends to create a European workforce adequately trained in HPC, and that European IT vendors involved in HPC can get fair access to global markets.
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