In a bid to spur AI development and initiatives, the European Commission, in collaboration with the European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU), has granted access to the EU’s top-tier supercomputers for start-ups, SMEs, and the wider AI community.
As part of the EU AI Start-Up Initiative, access is now available to world-class supercomputers such as LEONARDO, LUMI, and MareNostrum5. These resources, along with consortium exascale supercomputers JUPITER and JULES VERNE, are expected to play a pivotal role in advancing foundational AI models.
The initiative aligns with the EU’s strategic goal of enhancing the competitiveness of the European AI market and expediting AI development within the region. By leveraging the capabilities of supercomputing infrastructure, the EU aims to position itself as a frontrunner in the global AI ecosystem. The announcement was made during the fourth AI Alliance Assembly in Madrid, following President Ursula von der Leyen’s 2023 State of the Union address.
President von der Leyen emphasized Europe’s leadership in supercomputing, stating, “The access to Europe’s supercomputing infrastructure that we are announcing today will help start-ups lead the development and scale-up of artificial intelligence in a responsible manner, and in line with European values.” She also revealed plans for regulatory changes in the 2024 Commission Work Programme to ensure secure and sustainable access to European supercomputers.
Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, highlighted the significance of supercomputing in bolstering Europe’s technological sovereignty. He expressed confidence that opening up world-leading supercomputers for training and refining advanced AI models through the Large AI Grand Challenge would significantly reduce training times, enhancing Europe’s competitiveness in the AI landscape.
In addition to supercomputer access, the European Commission introduced the Large AI Grand Challenge, a competition involving European fintechs to strengthen AI initiatives. The EuroHPC JU also committed to enhancing activities and services powered by supercomputing to foster resilient and secure AI development in the EU while promoting innovation.