This morning, the President of the Government of Catalonia, Pere Aragonès i Garcia, assured that “today Catalonia, a European nation of science and knowledge, takes an unprecedented step forward with the launch of MareNostrum 5”. As Aragonès pointed out, the new supercomputer, which was inaugurated today at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC-CNS), represents a leap forward “in providing Barcelona and Catalonia with top-level scientific infrastructures”, which will not only enable progress to be made in the field of innovation and research, but also in fundamental issues such as “the major objectives of European strategic autonomy and in the economic and social future of Catalonia”.
MareNostrum 5 is one of the world's most complete and versatile machines at the service of the scientific community, with 23 times the capacity of its predecessor, MareNostrum 4. “Today we are providing Catalonia's knowledge ecosystem with a supercomputer with 4,500 chips, each of them with twice the power of the first supercomputer, which was started up less than 20 years ago”. A potential that will be at the service of science, but which the head of the Executive stressed also has a “clear link with the public”. “It is not a project that is only intended for scientific work. We have always found in the BSC this willingness to form an alliance with the citizens, with their present and future needs,” he added.
Aragonès described MareNostrum 5 as a “flagship” of a set of top-level technological and scientific infrastructures, such as the National Centre for Genomic Analysis, the ALBA Synchrotron, the European Fusion Energy Agency and the European Molecular Biology Laboratories, among others, which will contribute to “the scientific modernisation of our country's knowledge system, but also to the configuration of the economy of the Catalonia of the future”.
“The Government's commitment to the BSC, to science and to the country's knowledge is unequivocal,” the president stressed. And he recalled that, with this objective in mind, the Executive has promoted initiatives such as the Science Act and has approved “financial support of 60 million euros to the BSC” to make projects such as MareNostrum 5 possible. He also stressed the Government's commitment to being able to obtain, through negotiation, new resources such as the 150 million euros a year that will be transferred to Catalonia to promote strategic research and development projects.
“This is the way: joining forces, aligning objectives and not settling for today's achievements, but thinking big about tomorrow's big goals. This is what has made MareNostrum 5 possible and what will make MareNostrum 6 possible, which will have the full support and commitment of efforts and resources from the Government of Catalonia,” he concluded.
The inauguration of MareNostrum 5 was also attended by the Catalan Minister for Research and Universities, Joaquim Nadal i Farreras.
The new large scientific infrastructure of the Catalan knowledge system has great advantages in the use of supercomputing in research and its application for the benefit of society as a whole. For example, it will help save time and money when designing drugs and vaccines, and will be very useful in identifying types of cancer to enable cures. It will also boost research in areas such as the development of smart cities, obtaining energy at lower prices or modelling cars or planes without the need for physical wind tunnels, among other things.
The MareNostrum 5 supercomputer
MareNostrum 5 represents a major investment by Europe in scientific infrastructure, at a total cost of 202 million euros, including 151.4 million euros for the acquisition of the machine. The project is jointly funded by the European Union's supercomputing consortium, the EuroHPC Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC, JU), through the EU's Connecting Europe Facility and the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, as well as by the Generalitat de Catalunya, through the Ministry of Research and Universities; by the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, as well as Turkey and Portugal.