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In order for Europe to be able to strengthen its competitiveness and succeed in the contest for global technological leadership, it must catch up with the US and China, especially in the field of AI representing particularly big growth potential. From this perspective it is understandable that the amendment of the EuroHPC regulation aims to dedicate more EuroHPC computing capacity to AI research. At the same time, it is important to ensure that EuroHPC supercomputers can continue to serve also other academic and industrial fields with societal importance. Development of AI capabilities and wide usage are not mutually exclusive but they complement each other. It is also worth noting that even the current EuroHPC supercomputers are excellent for AI development, including LUMI which is one of the most efficient AI platforms in the world.

Even the most advanced supercomputers are useless without data that serves as the raw material for computing and training material for AI, as well as users capable of using data and computing in proficient and innovative ways. The aim must be that EuroHPC supercomputers are parts of ecosystems where shared data, computing and technology infrastructures (incl. both AI and quantum technologies) are developed strategically and in convergence. It is crucial to do this in good cooperation across policy sectors.

Increasing RDI activity in Finland requires dealing with the shortage of specialists by investing in education and capabilities of companies. Competent individuals are needed both to develop and apply technologies. The aim must by that Finland becomes an attractive and international environment for leading experts. High-quality study programmes as well as state-of-the-art tools and infrastructures are key for attracting talent. Right now, Finland has excellent tools for competences and growth: in addition to LUMI supercomputer, Finland has excellence in quantum and semi-conductor technologies, and it is crucial to ensure continuity.

Hybrid use of High-Performance Computing (HPC) and Quantum Computing (QC) must be taken into account in the preparation of Finland’s national quantum strategy as quantum computers will be used together with supercomputers. Finland leads this development and has excellence in both technologies. As international competition intensifies, Finland must continue to invest in the strengths of hybrid computing and future competitiveness of its state-of-the-art research infrastructure, including in a next-generation EuroHPC supercomputer at the end of the lifecycle of the current LUMI in 2027.

In order for RDI investment to boost Finnish competence development and competitiveness, legislative barriers must also be removed. Therefore, we welcome the Government’s intention to reform the Act on the Secondary Use of Health and Social Data in order to facilitate the use of computational methods in health research and innovation. National legislation must also be in line with the Regulation on the European Health Data Space to support cross-border RDI activities in the best possible way.

The economic and societal impact of HPC is significant. For example, one euro invested in CSC’s HPC services brings 25-37 euros of direct economic benefit to the society, according to a study by Taloustutkimus. Thus, it is great that Finland has decided to participate in the competition for hosting next-generation pan-European supercomputers. Finland’s success in this competition must now be actively promoted at EU level, making use of Finland’s strengths in technological and scientific competences as well as cost-efficient and energy-efficient data centre operations.

Read the full statement (in Finnish) (pdf)