18:23 GMT03 July 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The European Union has chosen eight sites across the bloc to host supercomputing centres, tasked with supporting European researchers and businesses in developing applications related to climate change and bio-engineering, the European Commission said in a press release on Friday.

    "In a major step towards making Europe a top supercomputing region globally, the European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking - EuroHPC has selected 8 sites for supercomputing centres located in 8 different Member States to host the new high-performance computing machines [...] They will support Europe's researchers, industry and businesses in developing new applications in a wide range of areas, from designing medicines and new materials to fighting climate change", the press release read. 

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    The hosting centers will be located in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain, according to the statement.

    "These sites will give our researchers access to world-class supercomputers, a strategic resource for the future of European industry. They will be able to process their data inside the EU, not outside it. It is a major step forward for Europe to reach the next level of computing capacity; it will help us to advance in future-oriented technologies like the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, robotics and data analytics", Andrus Ansip, the commission's vice-president for the Digital Single Market, said as quoted in the press release.

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    The EuroHPC Joint Undertaking was established last November with a goal of equipping the European Union with world-class supercomputers by the end of next year, according to the European Commission.

    Last year, the European Commission proposed allocating 9.2 billion euros ($10.82 billion) in 2021-2027 to addressing digital challenges, including 2 billion euros for enhancing cybersecurity.

    The Commission proposed allocating 2.7 billion euros to issues related to supercomputers, and 2.5 billion euros to the development of artificial intelligence.

    The European Commission proposal also stipulates the allocation of 700 million euros for the development of digital skills and 1.3 billion euros to ensure the wider use of new digital technologies.

    The issue of cybersecurity in the European Union has been particularly acute over the past years since a number of major cyber attacks such as the WannaCry virus attack in 2017 hit countries around the world.

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