The European supercomputer to be built in Bulgaria in an 18 million euro project will be located in the capital city’s Sofia Tech Park, a June 17 news conference was told.
The news conference was addressed by Prime Minister Boiko Borissov, European Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel and the head of the European Commission’s directorate-general of communication, networks, content and technology, Roberto Viola.
On June 7, the European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking, EuroHPC, named Sofia as one of eight cities selected for supercomputing centres located in eight different EU countries to host new high-performance computing machines.
Viola said that the supercomputer to be built in Bulgaria will be as powerful as Nasa’s and would be the most powerful supercomputer in Eastern Europe. It would be part of a network of all European supercomputers.
This was the largest EU investment in Bulgaria related to scientific infrastructure, he said.
Cloud technology will allow connectivity with companies, hospitals and other structures, Viola said.
Gabriel said that the network of eight supercomputers would assist European researchers. New applications would be developed, related to medicine, and to the fight against climate change. The supercomputer may be used to help design earthquake-resistant buildings.
Bulgaria’s supercomputer would be completed by 2020, he said. It would help this country become a leader in the sphere, Gabriel said.
The total investment in the network of eight supercomputers was about a billion euro, of which the European Commission is paying 486 million euro. The Bulgarian project would cost 18 million euro, of which Bulgaria will pay 12 million euro and the European Commission six million euro.
Borissov said that no such machine currently exists in Eastern Europe, and the supercomputer would put Bulgaria at a different level in innovation, science and technology. The centre would be mainly staffed by Bulgarians, he said.
“These machines carry out four million billion operations per second. This gives a huge opportunity for car manufacturers in Bulgaria. Because every detail can be tested with millions of variations of what can happen to it in a variety of environments, loads, and the like. Buildings, how they would react, or the entire construction industry, Borissov said, adding that the supercomputer would create tremendous opportunities in health care as well.
(Photos: Sofia Tech Park)