The European Commission has selected eight centres to house the EuroHPC supercomputers, among them Slovenia’s supercomputer in Maribor. “Projects such as these are a great way to show the rest of the world how advanced Europe is and what potential it holds,” said Educations, Science and Sports Minister Jernej Pikalo.
The EU’s high-performance computing (HPC) centres will be located in Sofia, Bulgaria, Ostrava in the Czech Republic, Kajaani, Finland, Bologna, Italy, Bissen, Luxembourg, Minho, Portugal and Barcelona, Spain, the ministry, Arnes research network and Akademska institute said in a press release on Friday.
The centres will provide support to the research community and industry in developing know-how and knowledge applications in medicine, advanced materials and climate change combat.
Called VEGA, after the mathematician Jurij Vega, the Slovenian supercomputer, will have the capacity of five petaflops. Compared to the supercomputers in existence today, this places it around number 35 in terms of performance.
The eight EuroHPC computers will have a combined capacity of 500 petaflops. The biggest three will rank among the top five in the world, according to Arnes.
Zoran Stančič, the head of the European Commission Representation in Slovenia, said that supercomputers played a vital role for the economy, as 90% of their capacity is used by the business sector.
Illustrating the use of supercomputers, Stančič said that a decade ago it took more than five years to develop a car, but the use for supercomputers has shortened this process by two years.
He also believes that the centre in Maribor will be an opportunity for Slovenia’s eastern cohesion region.
Also present today was Khalil Rouhana, deputy director-general for Communications Networks, Content and Technology at the European Commission, expressing satisfaction that Slovenia joined the leading team.
He believes that the EU should not find itself lagging behind others in development.
The Maribor University is already in the process of building a supercomputer centre for the processing of big data as part of its HPC RIVR project.
“Years-long and successful cooperation of research institutions in the Slovenian national supercomputing network (SLING)… first enabled Slovenia to set up a supercomputer centre in Maribor and now it will enable it to become a hub of regional and European cooperation,” Arnes also said in its press release last week.