Supercomputer to be built in Bulgaria by 2020

Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and Commissioner Maria Gabriel

A supercomputer will be built in Bulgaria, said on Monday European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Digital Society Maria Gabriel during a news conference in Sofia after meeting with Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and the Director General of DG CONNECT (Directorate General of Communication, Networks, Content and Technology) at the European Commission (EC), Roberto Viola. This will make Bulgaria one of eight countries with such a European supercomputer, the Commissioner explained.

Gabriel said that the total investment adds up to €1bn, of which €486m are provided by the EC. The remainder will come from Member States and private partnerships. The project in Bulgaria costs €18m, €12m of which will come from Bulgaria and the remaining €6m - from the EC, she said, adding that this supercomputer should be up and running by 2020.

Roberto Viola noted that this is the largest EU investment in Bulgaria related to scientific infrastructure. According to him, the computer will be as powerful as the one in NASA's centre. “This will be the most powerful supercomputer in Eastern Europe,” he added. There will be an opportunity to introduce artificial intelligence, which could be used to predict tornadoes, thunderstorms and earthquakes. The Bulgarian supercomputer will be connected to a network between all the European computers.

Boyko Borissov added that this centre will be predominantly staffed by Bulgarians and will be built in Sofia's Tech Park. The Prime Minister commented that this supercomputer will offer Bulgaria huge opportunities and allow for the testing of car parts, bridges and buildings. It will work round-the-clock, he said.

Borissov noted that no such machines currently exist in Eastern Europe, which puts Bulgaria in a completely different role in the field of innovations, science and high technology.

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