First Sod of the Bulgarian EuroHPC Petascale Supercomputer Building at Sofia Tech Park
The construction of the building for the supercomputer in Sofia, part of the EuroHPC network, has officially begun. The processing power of the supercomputer will be unique for Bulgaria and the region.
Last year, Bulgaria was chosen as one of the eight sites across the EU that will host the first European supercomputers. The other 7 supercomputing machines will be located in Ostrava (Czechia), Kajaani (Finland), Bologna (Italy), Bissen (Luxembourg), Minho (Portugal), Maribor (Slovenia), and Barcelona (Spain).
The project is implemented by the “Petascale Supercomputer – Bulgaria” consortium with a leading partner Sofia Tech Park, and is located on the territory of the technology park. The supercomputer is planned to start operations by the end of February 2021. The state funding in the project, including the estimated operating costs for the first 5 years of exploitation, is EUR 12 mln., out of which 6 mln. are European funding.
This is the largest EU investment in Bulgaria related to the scientific infrastructure and is part of the pioneering European continent-wide plan to compete with the USA, China, and Japan as a major international player in supercomputing.
The supercomputer in Sofia will be able to execute at least 4 billion operations per second and together with the supercomputers in the other locations will support European researchers, the industry and the business in the development of new applications in a wide range of fields such as designing medicines, fighting climate change, testing and simulation in the aviation and automotive industries, data analysis, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and blockchain.
„Today’s start of the construction of the digital hub in Sofia is a proof of Bulgaria’s potential to be a regional leader in the field of supercomputers”, said the EU commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education, and Youth Maria Gabriel at the symbolic groundbreaking ceremony. She emphasized that supercomputers can help ensure more reliable transport, energy saving, effective climate change fighting, and more. She thanked the team of Sofia Tech Park for their diligence, expertise and perseverance in working on the project.
“Investing in technology, innovation and education is the way Sofia is going. All this is happening thanks to the great support which Sofia receives from the European Union, from our Commissioner Maria Gabriel, and the government.”, said Sofia’s Mayor Ms. Yordanka Fandakova. She stressed that Sofia and Bulgaria will continue to invest in science, education, and to create quality jobs for educated and talented people.
*Image source: Sofia Municipality