HPC technologies to face contemporary challenges

© Yassine Khalfalli

During a press conference held on June, 18, the President of the European Commission Ursula Von Der Leyen expressed appreciation towards the results of the Exscalate4CoV project in the fight against Covid-19 using supercomputers.

The public-private consortium Exscalate4CoV (E4C) is Italian-based, with CINECA among its partners, and has been awarded € 3 million by the European Commission’s call for research projects on Coronavirus under the Horizon 2020 framework programme. It is one of the 17 projects founded by the European Commission in this framework.

The primary objective of E4C is to exploit the supercomputing potential integrated with the best life-science scientific skills in Europe to better and quickly face pandemic situations of supranational interest.

The core of the project is Exscalate, the supercomputing system – High Performance Computing, Structure-Based Drug Design System capable of evaluating more than three million molecules per second.

The consortium, led by Dompé pharmaceuticals, brings together 18 institutions and research centers, in 7 European countries. In brief, the project aims to identify the safest and most promising drugs for the immediate treatment of the already infected population, followed by the identification of molecules capable of inhibiting the pathogenesis of the coronavirus to counter future contagions.

The public-private nature of the project has been enhanced by the contribution of Eni’s HPC5 supercomputers: Eni has freely made its supercomputing infrastructure and its molecular modelling skills available for coronavirus research, offering its contribution with its tools and resources of excellence in the fight against this global emergency.

The use of HPC technologies in this field demonstrates that Europe is strongly relying on digital technologies to face the contemporary challenges, and this means that Highlander project – wants to do to mitigate climate change effects goes in the right direction.

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