Joint ERCIM Actions
ERCIM News No.33 - April 1998

EU-China Industrial Cooperation Initiatives in High-Performance Computing and Networking

by Eckart Bierdümpel

ERCIM is coordinating the European part of an industrial High Performance Computing and Networking (HPCN) initiative between the European Union and China. This initiative is sponsored and funded by the European Commission, the Chinese authorities and Chinese and European private companies.

High Performance Computing and Networking (HPCN) is a crucial technology for European industrial and scientific competitiveness. It has the potential for great and far-reaching impact on productivity, industrial competitiveness, environmental management and many other aspects of economy and society.

The use of HPCN systems for commercial applications is expected to be taken up vigorously in the second half of the decade, both in Europe and in emerging economies, such as China. Due to the strategic importance of this technology for both the European and the Chinese industry, the "EU-China High Performance Computing and Networking (HPCN) Initiative" has been set-up to foster business, industrial and technological co-operation between European and Chinese operators in this high-tech sector. Expected results from this initiative are the following:

The initiative should serve as kick-off for:

This initiative is sponsored and funded by the European Commission, the Chinese authorities and Chinese and European private companies. On the European side the management of these activities is carried out by the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM). As examples the following areas could be covered by the initiative:

Projects in this initiative should cover cooperation that implement HPCN from clustering of workstations to the usage of parallel compute servers.


Two European workshops were already organised in Europe in 1997 in order to raise the awareness of European enterprises concerning opportunities in China related to HPCN technologies. A workshop description including presentation slides can be obtained under

The Commission of the European Union now offers industry (in particular SMEs) the chance to have a look at the emerging markets and opportunities in China in the field of HPCN by minimizing their risks, time and expenses, which could be otherwise quite considerable: for up to 20 companies (generally on a first-come, first-serve basis) the EU will participate in the travel cost to workshops and business site visits in China.

These meetings will be organised to promote direct Sino-European contacts. Interested European companies will have a chance to meet Chinese companies and institutions, which are potentially interested in cooperation. The date for the meetings isn't decided yet, but it is expected that the meetings will be held in September in China, shortly after the HPC Asia 1998 took place in Singapore. Thus, it will offer the opportunity with one visit to Asia to attend the Asian conference and/or exhibition to get an overview what is going on in Asia in the field of HPCN in general, and then to proceed to China to discuss concrete possibilities for cooperation in the Chinese market.

Those who already registered as interested in the initiative, will automatically get updated information on what is going on. General information is available under Newly interested persons or companies should contact one of the following persons below.

Please contact:
Eckart Bierdümpel - GMD
Tel: +49 2241 14 2256

Thierry Priol - INRIA-IRISA
Tel: +33 2 9984 7210

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