Ceremony of the EuroHPC petascale supercomputer in the Czech Republic

Prague, 13th June 2019 – The EuroHPC event celebrating the hosting of one of the EuroHPC petascale systems in the premises of the IT4Innovations National Supercomputing Centre, based at the VŠB – Technical University in Ostrava, took place at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. The event was attended by European Commission´s Deputy Director General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology Khalil Rouhana.

 The delegation of the European Commission was welcomed by Vice Prime Minister for Economy and Minister of Industry and Trade Karel Havlíček, who highly appreciated the achievements reached by the IT4Innovations in a pan-European call for the hosting of one of the most powerful supercomputing systems in the EU: “The high performance computing represents one of the key technology areas for science and industry. It plays a crucial role in building of the digital single market in the EU and digital economy in general. Unfortunately, Europe is lagging behind other world´s macro-regions in the area of HPC. Therefore, I am very glad that the Czech Republic is so successfully participating in the EuroHPC Joint Technology Initiative and very significantly contributes to the development of high performance computing technologies in Europe and worldwide.”

The total investment costs of the EuroHPC petascale system will be at the level of 15 mil. EUR, out of which 35% will be financed by the European Commission, complemented by the use of the European Structural and Investment Funds drawn via the Operational Programme Research, Development and Education (OP VVV). “The EuroHPC petascale supercomputer at the IT4Innovations will be financed by the use of the EU cohesion policy instruments, in synergy to the funding of the operations costs financed via the large research infrastructures´ grant scheme. I am very delighted that besides this synergy we reached another one, with the financial resources of the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme. In this way, the IT4Innovations becomes a good practice example of synergy use of the national and European financial resources.”, said Pavel Doleček, Deputy Minister for Higher Education, Science and Research at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.

The “IT4Innovations Centre for European Science and Industry” – project of one of the most powerful European supercomputers – has succeeded in the competition with Luxemburg, Portugal, Slovenia and Bulgaria, being the best ranked proposal. During the ceremonial event, Director of the IT4Innovations National Supercomputing Centre Vít Vondrák presented the EuroHPC petascale supercomputer and added: “The IT4Innovations establishes the Czech Republic in the field of supercomputing technologies. Apart from hosting the EuroHPC petascale supercomputer, which is a great success, the IT4Innovations takes part in the EuroHPC pre-exascale acquisition project, being a Member of the LUMI consortium, coordinated by Finland. We are very honoured that the supercomputers based at the IT4Innovations play such an important role in the implementation of scientific experiments and will help the industries to transfer the scientific knowledge.”

The so called “LUMI” (Large Unified Modern Infrastructure) consortium, coordinated by Finland and participated by Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland, will acquire the EuroHPC pre-exascale supercomputer in 2020. The supercomputer will be installed in Kajaani, Finland. The contribution of the Czech Republic will be covered by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports at the amount of 5 mil. EUR, which equals 2.5% of the investments and operations costs of the supercomputer.

On the occasion of visit to the Czech Republic, Khalil Rouhana learned also about other Czech facilities active in the field of use of the ICT technologies for research, development and innovations – Research Centre for Informatics and Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics. Both these R&D centres, hosted by the Czech Technical University in Prague, represent top-class facilities for artificial intelligence and not only on the Czech, but also European landscape. Jointly with the e-infrastructures IT4Innovations, CESNET and CERIT Scientific Cloud, which are integrated in the e-INFRA CZ consortium, these are the most important Czech ICT-based capacities for research, technology development and innovations, all of them intensely cooperating within the frameworks of European and worldwide ICT domain networks.