It is a pleasure to be here today for the formal inauguration of the Nordic High Performance Computer.
I have followed this project from the initial and earliest stages of this collaborative venture. I found the idea of a joint Nordic high performance super computer to be located in Iceland, very intriguing. That Iceland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway could pool their resources, both financial and technical, for a joint supercomputer, and further to locate the computer in Iceland.
A year ago, almost to this date, we signed an agreement on the three year pilot project for a joint Nordic supercomputer. This year has involved preparatory work setting up the supercomputer, with the involvement of the Nordic partners as well as Hewlett Packard via Opin Kerfi and Thor Data Center now a part of Advania. The Nordic High Performance computer is already up and running, and is currently the most powerful computer in Iceland. It opens up a window of opportunity for Nordic scientists, and for Nordic collaborations.
The idea to locate a computer in Iceland, so far from the users but close to the energy source is an interesting pilot. As you all know, in Iceland we have powerful natural resources, that can provide electricity at a lower cost and cost efficient cooling solutions as well. But in addition to this economic incentive is of course the environmental incentive. Supercomputers entail a large CO2-footprint when fossil energy sources are used. In Iceland, energy is produced not only at low cost but also from CO2-neutral renewable hydro- and geothermal energy sources. The fact that we offer green and renewable energy made Iceland an attractive option in placing the joint supercomputer here.
The pilot project has further goal such as to understand the political, organizational and technical aspects of joint ownership of the joint Nordic administration and operation of such an expensive and strategic infrastructure as is the case with the Nordic high power supercomputer. I understand that there are some controversies in placing the computer so far from the users, transferring data a long way, and therefore it is of utter importance that this project will be successful.
The Nordic countries have a long tradition in Nordic collaboration in research and development. One of the areas that Nordic cooperation has been productive is in the area of e- science. The Nordic data network NORDUnet was founded 30 years ago, but that is a joint collaboration by the five Nordic national research and education networks and acts as the Nordic representative towards GÉANT and DANTE bodies. This is a fine example of highly successful Nordic collaboration. Another one that I can mention is the Nordic Data Grid facility, which was originally created to jointly to manage data from experiments at CERN. Now the newly formed Nordic e-infrastructure collaboration under NordForsk is as the name implies a body for collaboration of the Nordic countries in the area of e-infrastructures.
Ladies and gentlemen
This pilot project on joint Nordic supercomputer is an important step towards the goal of putting the Nordic countries in the forefront in High Performance computing in Europe. It is very important that this pilot project will be successful, leading to further development in the area and further opportunities of remote high performance computers.