March 22, 2017

Key HBP leaders speak at EC Digital Day

As part of the celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome, the EC has organized Digital Day in Rome on 23 March 2017.

This event focuses on Europe's digital future and challenges, considering its potential to improve the lives of European citizens, change the way we work, and impact the economy in terms of innovation. The event revolves around four themes:

  1. Europe as a global player in high-performance computing
  2. Digitising European industry
  3. Towards connected and automated mobility
  4. Impact of digital transformation on jobs and skills

As part of the first session, following a signature of declaration of European cooperation on high-performance computing, Thomas Schulthess (Director of the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre (CSCS), Switzerland, and Deputy Leader of SP7) and Wolfgang Marquardt (Chairman of the Board of Directors, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany, and German representative on the HBP Stakeholder Board) will take part in a panel discussion on "How Europe can regain leadership in HPC". In particular, Prof. Schulthess will discuss the role of CSCS in defining and setting up the second period of the Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE 2) from 2017 to 2020. PRACE 2 will reinforce Europe's position as a supercomputing provider and deliver a science-driven, globally competitive European supercomputing infrastructure.

In the evening, Katrin Amunts (Director of the Institute for Neuroscience and Medicine, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany, and Chair of the HBP's Science and Infrastructure Board) will deliver a speech to the assembled European Ministers, stakeholders and high-level representatives on interactions between neuroscience and computing. Prof. Amunts will explain how high-performance computing is vital in the quest to understand the organization of the brain at multiple scales. Supercomputing is key in handling the huge amounts of data produced and to simulate multi-level brain models. An advanced understanding of brain organisation also benefits the development of supercomputing itself, inspiring new concepts for computer architectures as well as neuromorphic computing technologies and robotics. The interaction of neuroscience and ICT can also extend to new diagnostic and neurotechnologies, and innovative drug research. Prof. Amunts will therefore show how the Human Brain Project is therefore moving towards an open European infrastructure for collaborative interdisciplinary research in neuroscience and computing.

The agenda for Digital Day is available here. All sessions will be live streamed on the Digital Single Market YouTube channel.