The public-private-partnership between the ETP4HPC Association and the European Commission exists since 2014 and its numerous productive interactions and joint activities since then are now well-known to all. In particular, in the previous period the ETP4HPC was instrumental providing updates to the Strategic Research Agenda, an essential contribution for the long term planning and implementation of the European HPC Strategy. This materialized in the publication of the different Horizon 2020 Work Programs with HPC-related Calls in the Excellent Science (Future and Emerging Technologies), Leadership for Industrial Technologies (LEIT) and e-Infrastructure pillars, with a total funding of research and innovation actions in HPC of more than 332 M€ in the period 2014-2017. The impact of the Strategic Research Agenda however spreads beyond the members of the ETP4HPC, as many other participants subscribe to its objectives and actively participate in the implementation of the European HPC policy. It goes without saying that the ETP4HPC has become a key player for achieving the objectives of the European HPC Strategy as outlined in the Communication a “European Cloud Initiative”.
Can we do more to reach the ambitious objectives of the European HPC Strategy?
High performance computing is of a strategic importance for science, industry and the public sector. From our numerous interactions with the HPC community last year, culminating in the public consultation on the implementation of EuroHPC2, I conclude that the expert reader is well informed about the objectives of the European HPC strategy. I am grateful for the engagement of the ETP4HPC and its members, contributing to the adoption by the European Commission on 11th January 2018 of its proposal for a Regulation establishing the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking. According to the Commission’s assessment, which was overwhelmingly confirmed by the HPC constituency, the steps undertaken since 2012 and the available implementation model are insufficient to achieve the ambitious objective to develop in Europe a full HPC ecosystem, at par with its global competitors and in the same timeframe. A Joint Undertaking is considered the best available instrument to acquire leadership-class supercomputers securing Europe’s own independent HPC technology and system supply and stay competitive in the development of scientific and industrial HPC applications. The Joint Undertaking is expected to overcome the fragmentation of European and national programs, funding sources and instruments to reach the objectives of the strategy. This does however no mean that we will throw overboard the things that worked well and the ETP4HPC belongs to the latter. There is a key contribution to the realisation of the Joint Undertaking to be made. There is an active participation of the ETP4HPC to be played. I am looking forward to the upcoming discussions on where and how to capitalize on the strengths, the expertise and the structuring role of the ETP4HPC to implement the activities of the Joint Undertaking. The Joint Undertaking is an instrument to better link the R&D programs and its results to the acquisition and operation of HPC machines. The expectation is that this will also foster and reinvigorate an European HPC supply industry creating lead markets and making HPC resources and applications accessible to a wider user base, notably SMEs.
It will also lead to new and more powerful applications, keeping Europe at the forefront of scientific excellence and maintaining the competitiveness of the industrial users. Therefore, in the proposed Regulation on an EuroHPC Joint Undertaking, the ETP4HPC Association is included as a member.