19 Feb 2019   |   News

EuroHPC partnership opens bidding for would-be supercomputer hosts

New joint undertaking for high-performance computing seeks a good home for two petascale supercomputers

The EU's new public-private partnership for high performance computing, EuroHPC has put out a new call for organisations interested in hosting supercomputers, seeking a good home for two petascale computers operating at one petaflops. That translates to 1015 (a quadrillion) operations per second.  

Universities, research centres, companies and others are eligible only if they are in one of the EU member states participating in EuroHPC, which do not include the UK. Sweden and Malta are also not currently listed as participants. New countries can join EuroHPC anytime and do not necessarily have to be EU member states, but host organisations must be inside the EU, and all of the 25 current participating countries are EU member states.

National governments to pay most of the costs 

EuroHPC will pay for 35 per cent of the total cost of the supercomputers, with the rest coming from the national government of the host institution, or from other national governments that have agreed to invest as a consortium. So, in principle, the hosts themselves do not pay anything, though they will have no ownership of the machines, which will be co-owned by EuroHPC and the governments paying the bills. 

The deadline for applications is midday on 15 April. Any questions about the call have to be submitted by 7th March and will be answered by the 14th.  

EuroHPC has put out two calls: the new one, published Friday (15 February), is for institutions able to host petascale computers. The other, launched 21 January and closing 4 April, seeks hosts for precursors to exascale computers, meaning those capable of operating at more than 150 petaflops, or 150 times petascale. True exascale is 1000 petaflops, or an exaflop.

Partnership

EuroHPC was established by an EU Council regulation last autumn. Its members are the EU, represented by the Commission, the 25 EU countries, and private members, including the European Technology Platform for High Performance Computing (ETHP4C) and the Big Data Value Association (BDVA).

Both are partnerships of businesses, universities and research institutions, and their mutual members include Atos, Huawei, NEC, Fraunhofer, and the University of Bologna.  

EuroHPC is funded by its public members, to the tune of around €1 billion, roughly half from the EU and half from participating countries. Private members provide in-kind contributions, which the Commission says are worth about €400 million.

For now, the EU funding comes from the Horizon 2020 research programme, which expires at the end of next year. After that, the Commission plans to use its planned successor, Horizon Europe, and the proposed new Digital Europe infrastructure programme, which would allocate €2.7 billion to supercomputing.

Never miss an update from Science|Business:   Newsletter sign-up