The president of the Government of Catalonia, Quim Torra, said he was confident that the MareNostrum 5 supercomputer, which will be put into operation next year, will highlight Barcelona’s importance as a technology hub and increase its centrality.
After visiting the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) this morning, the head of the executive described it as “a top-notch strategic facility”, both in Catalonia and internationally, and reiterated the government’s “firm commitment” to Catalan research and innovation centres like the BSC, which he said goes “beyond financial contributions”.
Speaking to the media, the president said he was confident that “excellence in research, innovation and knowledge are closely linked to gains in competitiveness”, adding that “the partnership between companies, research centres and universities is a virtuous triangle that’s working well, as the case of the BSC demonstrates”. Torra stressed the need to “nurture the entire ecosystem based on research centres and universities”, which he said was one of the key pillars of the knowledge society.
In his speech, the head of the executive also mentioned Tech Spirit Barcelona, an event currently under way in Barcelona, which he said showed Catalans’ ability to “overcome unforeseen difficulties and challenges”.
Torra said the Barcelona Supercomputing Center is a forward-looking project that “opens up opportunities and links us to the world”. He concluded by emphasising that Catalonia’s future depends on its digital capabilities and commitment to research.
The MareNostrum 5 will form part of the first generation of supercomputers promoted and co-funded by the European Commission, which has contributed €110 million to the project (half of the total cost). This is the biggest science investment the European Commission has made in Spain.
The BSC employs 700 people and currently houses several high-performance computing systems used by researchers throughout Europe. The MareNostrum supercomputer is the most emblematic of its facilities.
During his speech, President Torra also made reference to the meeting of the negotiating table to be held today. “The Government of Catalonia is going to Madrid to stand up for its principles: the exercise of its right to self-determination and amnesty,” he said. “We’re going to put forward a model of what Catalonia should be: a land that ensures the welfare of its citizens and provides opportunities to build a better future.”