EU invests €8 billion in supercomputers to boost AI industry

The European Union (EU) is aiming to boost its artificial intelligence (AI) industry by leveraging its growing fleet of supercomputers. Through its Euro HPC project, the EU plans to provide European AI startups with access to powerful computing resources. The EU has already invested heavily in building supercomputers, with three ranking among the world’s top ten. However, there are challenges, including securing necessary hardware and adapting projects for supercomputers. Despite these obstacles, the EU is making efforts to support its AI industry and bridge the gap with American startups.

European union flag

The European Union (EU) is making efforts to boost Europe’s AI industry by leveraging its fleet of supercomputers through the Euro HPC project. The EU plans to spend nearly €8 billion ($8.7 billion) between 2018 and 2027 to provide European AI startups with free access to powerful computing resources. This initiative aims to address the imbalance in computing resources between Europe and its counterparts in America, particularly in terms of graphics-processing units (GPUs), which are vital for AI development.

To date, the EU has made significant progress in supercomputing, with three machines ranking among the top ten in the world. By expanding their number-crunching capacity and equipping supercomputers with additional GPUs, the EU hopes to foster the growth of AI factories across Europe. Jülich, Germany, is likely to be one of the first locations to host an AI factory. However, challenges persist, including the availability of GPUs dominated by Nvidia and the need for AI firms to adapt their projects for supercomputers.

Despite these challenges, the EU’s investment in supercomputers represents a significant step towards strengthening Europe’s AI industry. By providing European startups with access to these resources and promoting innovation through AI factories, the EU aims to bridge the gap in the global AI landscape and enhance the competitiveness of European AI startups.

Source: The Economist