The building of the EuroHPC supercomputer will be ready until the end of 2020. That was made clear during the inspection of the progress on the project for construction of HPC machine in Sofia. In it participation took the Mayor of Sofia Yordanka Fandakova, the Minister of Economy Lachezar Borisov, the Minister of Finance Kiril Ananiev, the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Maria Gabriel, the former president of Bulgaria (2012-2017) Rosen Plevneliev, as well as the Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Sofia Tech Park JSC Kostadin Petkov, the Chairman of the Management Board at Sofia Tech Park JSC Vassil Karaivanov and the Chief Executive Officer at Sofia Tech Park JSC Todor Mladenov.
The project for the high-performance computing machine, which will be one of the most efficient in Eastern Europe and will be part of the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU)’s network, is implemented by the “Petascale Supercomputer – Bulgaria” Consortium with leading partner Sofia Tech Park JSC.
Up until now, the activities part of the project are carried out according to the plans, the set goals and deadlines. The building, where the supercomputer and all service systems will be located, will be fully ready until the end of the year. At the beginning of the next year will start the installation of the main service systems that ensure the normal working process of the machine – cooling system, fire protection system, access system, etc.
In December, “Petascale Supercomputer – Bulgaria” Consortium, the European High Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU) and the global leader in digital transformation and HPC production Atos signed a procurement contract. The company Atos had been chosen following a call for tender by EuroHPC JU launched in March 2020.
The Bulgarian petascale machine will be the configuration Atos’ BullSequana XH2000. The machine’s processing power will allow the execution of more than 4,4 Petaflops or 4,4 million billion calculations per second. When it is connected in the EuroHPC network, the supercomputer will reach a peak performance of 6 Petaflops of computing power. The installation of the supercomputer is expected to start in March 2021.
A new street – “Severna” will be constructed with the goal of improving the transport connection in the area around Sofia Tech Park and of supporting the development of future investment projects. That was announced by the Mayor of Sofia Yordanka Fandakova during the event. The street will be parallel to Tsarigradsko shose Blvd., it will be 900 meters long and will have 2 lanes in each direction and 5-meter sidewalk. The mayor pointed out that at the same time, the existing Gen.Yordan Venedikov Str. will be widened and continued and will connect Sofia Tech Park with Tsarigradsko shose Blvd. The investment for the two streets is around 5 million levas and will be provided by the government. “The science and the new technologies will save humanity. That is why I’m proud that the supercomputer will be located exactly in Sofia. The municipality, the Council of ministers, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Finance and the European Commission worked together and succeeded in setting up this project and continuing developing it.” said Fandakova.
“We support the development of science and innovations and this project is a proof of that. I’m sure that the construction of the supercomputer will transform Bulgaria into a digital hub of Europe and will increase the computing power of the country and of Europe as a whole.” said the Minister of Finance Kiril Ananiev. He reminded that this year the government provided 20 million levas for the construction of the supercomputer, as well as 3,8 million levas on a yearly basis for the exploitation and the activity of the supercomputer. “Bulgaria has earned Europe’s trust and we became a science and innovation center.” said the Minister of Finance.
“Bulgaria will be established on the international scene not only in terms of its financial stability but also in terms of its innovation infrastructure.” pointed out the Minister of Economy Lachezar Borisov. According to him, Sofia Tech Park will be the place that will prove that Bulgaria is in the center of Europe from the point of view of technical and innovative infrastructure. “Our intentions were this place to be for investments with value of 100 million levas, but already there are possibilities of investments with value of 200 million levas.” he added. The Minister of Economy announced that the Ministry of Economy has transferred to 25 juridical persons almost 7 million levas for innovations within the 11th Competition Session of the National Innovation Fund and pointed out the importance of innovations for the country.
“We had started in 2018, when there was no European infrastructure in the area of supercomputers. Today, 35% of the computing power in the world is a European one and Bulgaria is a leader. Science and innovations are strategic investments.” pointed out the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Maria Gabriel. She reminded that the supercomputer’s project will give concrete benefits in various fields, such as medicine, road safety and many others. “The supercomputer will provide many new working places, investments and security for the young people that have chosen to stay and develop themselves here. Thanks to the new technologies it is no longer important where you are but to what you have access. We build the future together. I’m happy that Europe contributes to this.” said the European Commissioner Maria Gabriel.
“During the most complicated combination of crises not a single one of the strategic projects in Sofia and in the country are stopped. They even speed up their implementation.” Said the former president of Bulgaria (2012-2017) Rosen Plevneliev. According to him, this is proof of the smartest possible management in times of crisis. In his opinion the investment of 5 million levas for the construction of new street will attract private sector investments in the area for at least 200 million euro.
The Chief Executive Officer at Sofia Tech Park JSC Todor Mladenov thanked the government, the European Commission and the Municipality of Sofia for the support. He pointed out that the science and technology park’s team carries out the supercomputer project according to all the plans and deadlines. “We put an end to this hard year for everyone with positive results from the implementation of our goals and responsibilities in support of science and innovations. We hope that with flexibility and partnership we are helpful for the companies, part of the community of Sofia Tech Park, to overcome the crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic.” said the Chief Executive Officer at Sofia Tech Park.
The supercomputer will be one of the 5 petascale supercomputers designed to upgrade Europe’s computing power. The candidacy of the Bulgarian consortium “Petascale supercomputer – Bulgaria” with leading partner Sofia Tech Park JSC was approved according to the procedure of EuroHPC JU, through which 8 European locations were selected, on which territory will be built 3 pre-exascale and 5 petascale supercomputers.
The Bulgarian supercomputer’s objective is to support research and innovation activities, to stimulate the industry based on the use of technology for simulation, molding and optimization. The processing power of the machine can be used in many applied fields for the needs of a wide range of public and private consumers, including small and medium enterprises at Bulgarian, regional and European level. The system will be optimized to work in different science fields, including bioinformatics, pharmacy, molecular dynamics and mechanics, quantum chemistry and biochemistry, artificial intelligence, personalized medicine, bio-engineering, weather forecasting, fight against climate change, etc.
The new supercomputer is co-funded by the Republic of Bulgaria and the EuroHPC JU with a joint investment of EUR 11,5 million. This new supercomputing system is expected to be operational in May 2021.
The computing power of this new computing system will be complemented by four additional EuroHPC petascale supercomputers to be built in Luxembourg, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Portugal and three pre-exascale supercomputers in Finland, Italy and Spain.