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Digital Agenda: Plan to make EU the world leader in High-Performance Computing

February 14, 2012

High Performance Computing (HPC) is critical for industries that rely on precision and speed, such as automotive and aviation, and the health sector. Access to rapid simulations carried out by ever-improving super computers can be the difference between life and death; between new jobs and profits or bankruptcy. Hospitals in Germany use HPC to avoid last-minute decisions during childbirth, while analysis of 3D brain imaging through HPC has allowed much earlier diagnosis of disease. HPC has enabled car makers to develop new vehicle platforms in 2 years rather than 5 years, saving the European car industry up to €40 billion. 97 % of the industrial companies that employ HPC consider it indispensable for their ability to innovate, compete and survive.

For these reasons, the Commission today sets out a plan for the EU to reverse its relative decline in HPC use and capabilities. Under this plan the EU will double its investment in HPC (from €630 million to €1.2 billion) and become home to computers that can perform 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 (i.e. 1018) operations per second (“exa-scale”), before 2020. Half of the investment would be for development and training and for new centres of excellence, creating thousands of jobs.