Minister Pedro Duque and his Portuguese counterpart visit BSC

02 October 2019

Representatives from Turkey and Croatia also participated in the visit. These countries form part of the consortium selected by the EC so that BSC may host one of the European Union's new generation of supercomputers.

Acting Minister of Science, Innovation and Universities Pedro Duque, and his Portuguese counterpart Manuel Heitor, Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education of the Republic of Portugal, have visited the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), together with representatives from Turkey and Croatia. All of them are member states of the consortium selected by the EC so that BSC may host one of the European Union's new generation of supercomputers.
The visit is part of the previous conversations for the acquisition and implementation of the MareNostrum 5 supercomputer. On the part of Croatia and Turkey, Tome Anticic, State Secretary of Science of the Croatian government and Mehmet Mirat Satoglu, director of ULAKBIM, the Turkish Academic Network and Information Center, attended. Romania, Ireland and Greece have also shown interest in joining the consortium, although their entry has not yet been finalized nor have they participated in the meeting.

Pre-exascale supercomputer
The Barcelona Supercomputint Center was selected in June as one of the entities that will host a pre-exascale supercomputer of the high-capacity supercomputer network promoted by the EC through the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking.
The future supercomputer of BSC, MareNostrum 5, is one of the pre-exascale machines. It will have a maximum power of 200 Petaflops (200 billion operations per second) and will be launched on December 31, 2020.
The European Union could invest in the new supercomputer more than €100M, its highest investment in a research infrastructure in Spain. The rest of the investment will be borne by the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, the Generalitat de Catalunya and the states that supported the candidacy, among which is Portugal.

Previous meeting in Madrid
The acting minister Pedro Duque has received in the morning representatives from Portugal, Turkey and Croatia and the Barcelona Supercomputing Center at the IGME, in Madrid. In the afternoon, the delegation visited the headquarters of the BSC in Barcelona, where the General Director of Research of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Joan Gómez Pallarès, and the rector of the UPC, Francesc Torres, have joined the visit, both members of the Governing Board of the BSC.
Rafael Rodrigo, General Secretary of the Coordination of Scientific Policy of the Ministry and president of the BSC Consortium, the director, Mateo Valero; the deputy director, Josep M. Martorell, and the director of Operations, Sergi Girona, have served as hosts at BSC.

A change of scale for the Barcelona Supercomputing Center

In addition to put BSC on the new European map of supercomputing, MareNostrum 5 will be a leap in scale over the current of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center.
Its peak power of 200 petaflops will be 17 times higher than its current supercomputer, MareNostrum 4, and 10,000 times higher than the supercomputer that began the saga in 2004, MareNostrum 1.
It will also be much larger in size, so the new machine will be physically spread out between the Torre Girona Chapel, MareNostrum's current base, and the lower floors of BSC's new corporate building, just a few meters away from the chapel.

BSC was set up in 2004 by the Spanish Government, the Catalan Government and the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC). It was based around a core group of UPC lecturers led by Mateo Valero and the first supercomputer, MareNostrum 1.
It has a staff of about 650 people, who carry out border research using supercomputing, and also offers supercomputing services to researchers across Europe.