22 Sep
digital agenda european union

The European Commission takes further steps in the Digital Decade agenda

The Commission takes further steps in the Digital Decade agenda to strengthen Europe’s digital sovereignty, as announced by President Ursula von der Leyen in her State of the Union Address on last Wednesday.

The Commission has proposed a new Regulation for the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking to maintain and advance Europe’s leading role in supercomputing and quantum computing.

It will support research and innovation activities for new supercomputing technologies, systems and products, as well as foster the necessary skills to use the infrastructure and form the basis for a world-class ecosystem in Europe.

The proposal would enable an investment of €8 billion in the next generation of supercomputers – a substantially larger budget compared to the current one.

Investment priority

Building on Europe’s success in next-generation high-performance computing, supercomputing will play a key role in Europe’s path towards recovery.

It has been identified as a strategic investment priority, and will underpin the entire digital strategy, from big data analytics and artificial intelligence to cloud technologies and cybersecurity.

In addition, in a Recommendation also adopted on 18 September 2020, the Commission calls on Member States to boost ultra-fast network connectivity and develop a joint approach to 5G rollout.

The Regulation aims to update the previous Council Regulation that established the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking in October 2018. It will enable Europe to uphold a leading role in the technological race towards the next supercomputing frontier, notably:

  • exascale supercomputers that will perform more than one billion billion (1018) operations per second;
  • quantum computers and hybrid computers, combining elements of quantum and classical computing, that will be able to perform operations that no supercomputer is currently capable of doing.

The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking will make accessible existing European supercomputing and quantum computing resources to all users across Europe, including the public sector and industrial users, in particular small and medium businesses (SMEs), no matter where they are located.

By: Estela Martín

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