The EU Council formally endorsed the European Commission’s plan for joint investment (together with EU Member States) of €1 billion in the creation of a European supercomputing infrastructure. With this move, Brussels enters into the arena dominated by American and Chinese machines, which are the most powerful in the world.

A general regulation was adopted on Friday aimed at stimulating high-performance computing technologies on the way of creating a new joint European enterprise. Today, IBM’s Summit (or OLCF-4) is the world’s fastest supercomputer with 200 PFLOPS computing power. It follows the Chinese Sunway TaihuLight, which draws the attention because it was built entirely with processors that have been designed and manufactured in China. Both China and the US already have 171 systems in the ranking of the 500 most powerful computers.

“Today, the majority of our researchers and companies are forced to look for outside Europe in order to gain access to first-class computers. The EU cannot afford to be behind. EuroHPC will give us the ability to take advantage of innovation at home,” Deputy President Andrus Ansip, responsible for the Digital Single Market, said.

EuroHPC will have a budget of one billion euros. Half of the sum will come from EU funds and the rest by the participating countries. Additional €400 million will be provided by private partners.

Two supercomputers will be bought and deployed, as well as at least two others, which would be at the top of the top 25 in the world today. These machines will be linked to existing national supercomputers and consumers will be able to use them in more than 800 scientific and industrial fields of application.

The joint venture will be established in November 2018 and will operate until the end of 2026. The EU industry now uses over 33 percent of the world’s high-productivity computing resources, but delivers only 5 percent of them.

In this imitative are now participating Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain.

In the longer term, the Commission proposes to invest €2.7 billion in the enterprise to strengthen the computing with supercomputers and data processing in Europe as part of the “Digital Europe” programme proposed in May 2018 for the period 2021-2027.