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Key EU Developments in HPC

Why high performance computing is so important?

High performance computing (HPC) is

a strategic resource for Europe's future as it allows researchers to study and understand complex phenomena while allowing policy makers to make better decisions and enabling industry to innovate in products and services. The European Commission funds projects to address these needs.

The European Commission recognised the need for an EU-level policy in HPC to optimise national and European investments, addressing the entire HPC ecosystem and adopted its HPC Strategy on 15 February 2012.

The implementation of the European HPC strategy in Horizon 2020 is supported through three pillars working in synergy:

  1. Developing the next generation of HPC technologies, applications and systems towards exascale: This pillar is supported by the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) programme.

  2. Providing access to the best supercomputing facilities and services for both industry including SMEs and academiathis includes support to PRACE as well as to support actions to facilitate HPC take-up by industry (including SMEs), PRACE plans and manages the eco-system of Tier-0 resources at the EU level and its articulation with national (Tier-1) HPC resources and their evolution in time.

  3. Achieving excellence in HPC application delivery and use: this supports the establishment of Centres of Excellence (CoEs), like ESiWACE, to focus and coordinate support to the application of HPC in scientific or industrial domains that are most important for Europe.

These pillars are complemented with awareness raising, training, education and skills development in HPC.

Main developments in 2018: The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking

The European High-Perfomance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU) pools European resources to develop top-of-the-range exascale supercomputers for processing big data, based on competitive European technology.

The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking will enable European countries to coordinate their supercomputing strategies and investments together with the EU. We need to ensure the development in Europe of a whole exascale supercomputing capability covering the whole value chain (from technology components to systems and machines, and to applications and skills) and coordination. This action will avoid long term negative effects, both on the digital economy but also for Europe's data sovereignty and scientific and industrial leadership.

The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking (JU) is a legal and funding entity which enables pooling of EU and national resources in High Performance Computing (HPC) with the aim of:

  • Developing a pan-European supercomputing infrastructure:
  • Supporting research and innovation activities

On 3 July 2018, the European Parliament voted in favour of the Commission’s proposal to create a European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking. The proposal was  adopted by the Council of the European Union on 28 September 2018. Located in Luxembourg, the Joint Undertaking starts operating in November 2018 and remain operational until the end of 2026.

The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking is jointly funded by its public members with a budget of around EUR 1 billion. The EU's financial contribution is EUR 486 million. The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking is composed of public and private members:

Main developments in the period 2016-2017

  • Three calls were launched to support the development of an HPC ecosystem under the FET HPC part of Horizon 2020.

FETHPC-02-2017: Transition to Exascale Computing
FETHPC-03-2017: Exascale HPC ecosystem development
FETHPC-01-2016: Co-design of HPC systems and applications


Main developments in the period 2014-2015

Projects funded under the FETHPC calls are listed here:

At the ICT 2015 several sessions dealt with the new calls of Horizon 2020 related to HPC and e-infrastructures for the period 2016-2017.

Here is a selection of some interesting material:

© Copyright ESiWACE 2015