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UK joins world-class European supercomputing group

14 May 2024

British researchers will be given access to future supercomputing technology, opening up opportunities for the development of new drugs, clean energy and AI.

UK researchers, businesses and academics will have enhanced access to future supercomputer research funding from today (Monday 13 May) as the UK joins the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC).

EuroHPC brings together top-class supercomputing resources from across 35 countries, including Norway, Turkey, and all 27 EU member states, to drive research in the next generation of computing technologies. 

The UK has secured enhanced access to the Horizon Europe-funded portion of the programme, worth over £770 million between 2021 to 2027. 

The move will support UK scientists to make use of the cutting-edge European supercomputing facilities to which the UK gained access through Horizon Europe. 

Their ability to solve problems and perform calculations, with more speed and power than traditional computers are capable of, makes these systems vital to the development of exciting discoveries that will benefit us all, from new medical treatments to novel clean energy applications. 

The partnership aims to boost world-class leadership in supercomputing, as members pool resources and knowledge to develop scientific excellence in this field. 

By joining the Joint Undertaking, UK scientists will have the opportunity to bid for vital research support, strengthening the UK’s computer capacity. 

In November, the UK’s bespoke deal to associate with Horizon Europe secured UK researchers access to future EuroHPC supercomputers. The UK now gains further access to the Horizon Europe-funded portion of EuroHPC, which is worth around £770 million from 2021 to 2027.

With match funding from the Government, UK researchers, businesses and scientists can now bid confidently for further EuroHPC grants.

EuroHPC grants require match-funding from the UK on a case-by-case basis, and more information on how this will be made available will be provided at a later date.

Researchers can apply for time on EuroHPC systems and for Horizon-funded research and innovation grants on the EuroHPC website.   

Science, Innovation and Technology Secretary, Michelle Donelan said: “I have made it my mission to unleash the benefits of AI for the British public and supercomputers are essential tools that our best and brightest researchers need to deliver breakthroughs that will grow the economy and improve all our lives, from healthcare to energy security. 

“This deal will only strengthen the UK’s science and tech superpower credentials, by giving our scientists and businesses even greater access to a leading network of expertise and powerful computing systems from Finland to Portugal. 

“I urge researchers to seize this exciting opportunity and bid for EuroHPC support.”

This is the latest deal secured by the Government to maximise UK researchers’, scientists’ and businesses’ access to R&D funding and opportunities for international collaboration. 

Following a bespoke deal signed by the Prime Minister last year, the UK has associated with Horizon Europe, the world’s largest programme of research collaboration, worth around £80 billion in total. 

Supercomputing has incredible potential to transform our scientific understanding and enable breakthroughs in nearly every scientific field. 

It is already powering the discovery of new drugs and the development of targeting medical therapies for the individual needs of patients suffering from diseases such as Alzheimer’s and cancer. 

Joining EuroHPC further builds on the Government’s £1.5 billion plan to deliver world-leading compute facilities for the nation’s businesses and researchers, including backing for the Isambard-AI supercomputer in Bristol and the Dawn supercomputer in Cambridge, both of which will come online this year, and a new national exascale supercomputing facility, to be hosted in Edinburgh. 

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