Quantum computing, the national center is born: 320 million from the Pnrr

The aim of the initiative is to create a new network with a capacity of over one terabit per second. Garr among the 51 partners from all over Italy. The hub has been identified at the Bologna Technopole. The transversal infrastructure will support the main strategic sectors for the country 19 Jul 2022

Shot of Corridor in Working Data Center Full of Rack Servers and Supercomputers with Blue Neon Visualization Projection of Data Transmission Through High Speed Internet. The Research Center in High Performance Computing, Big Data and Quantum Computing has taken its first step today, with the establishment of the governing bodies of the ICSC Foundation, called to manage one of the national centers envisaged by the PNRR, the National Recovery and Resilience Plan. The construction of the center was proposed by the National Institute of Nuclear Physics and has 51 founding members from all over Italy, from the public and private sectors, from the world of scientific research and industry. The base of the center has been identified at the Bologna Technopole, a citadel of innovation promoted by the Emilia-Romagna Region, also thanks to investments by the Italian Government and the European Community, which already houses the Data Center of the European Weather Center (ECMWF) and will soon welcome the Leonardo supercomputer managed by Cineca, and the INFN Computing Center . This will make it possible to network and systematize the knowledge, skills and resources of realities operating throughout Italy to build a distributed and transversal infrastructure that supports scientific research and the productive world in innovation and digitization of the country. All this by promoting the careers of young people and initiatives to overcome the gender gap in professional careers and between the North and the South. The initiative counts on an investment of 320 million euros from the Next Generation EU funds of the Education and Research Mission of the PNRR coordinated by the Ministry of University and Research, of which 41% will be invested in the South. Of the total amount of funding, more than 100 million euros will be dedicated to staff, with a female participation of at least 40%, and with almost 16 million euros reserved for doctoral scholarships and therefore for higher education and the career of young people. The first plenary assembly was held at the headquarters of the Emilia-Romagna Region, and saw the election, as president of the foundation, of Antonio Zoccoli, president of INFN. The Board of Directors includes Emilio Fortunato Campana (Cnr), Paolo Maria Mancarella (University of Pisa), Francesco Scarcello (University of Calabria), Donatella Sciuto (Politecnico di Milano), Simona Tondelli (University of Bologna), Francesco Ubertini (Cineca), Matteo Laterza (UnipolSai), Elisabetta Oliveri (Autostrade per l'Italia), Andrea Quacivi di (Sogei) and Francesca Zarri (Eni). Index of topics • The meaning of the project • Research and development for innovation • The organizational model • The members of the ICSC Foundation • The timing of the project The meaning of the project "Storing, sorting, sharing, processing and interpreting this data, the so-called big data, has become the great enterprise of today to make the country competitive, both in scientific research and in the production system, so as to be able to face the present and future challenges on key issues for our society and our Planet - reads a note - such as the protection of the environment, the protection of personal and public health, the creation of smart cities, sustainable development. The management of big data is therefore a priority, for which huge computing resources are needed, the development of innovative technological solutions, such as quantum computers, and increasingly advanced mathematical and statistical algorithms and models". In this context, the press release continues, supercomputing, numerical simulations, artificial intelligence, machine learning, frontier technologies are essential tools to encourage developments and discoveries both in the industrial world and in the world of scientific research, and therefore for the economic and cultural growth of our society. ICSC thus aspires to become an attractive ecosystem at an international level, strengthening Italian competitiveness and contributing to Europe's leadership in the sector.

The main aims of the center are threefold: to build an Italian supercomputing infrastructure, to aggregate research and innovation resources in the most strategic sectors for the country, and to position itself as the national platform to support scientific and industrial initiatives. Research and development for innovation The Centre, explain the promoters, will carry out research and development activities, at national and international level, in favor of innovation in the field of simulations, calculation and analysis of high-performance data. These activities will be carried out starting from a cutting-edge infrastructure at international level for High Performance Computing and big data management, capable of systematizing resources and promoting and integrating emerging technologies. For this reason, in the coming years ICSC will implement solutions that will lead to a network speed of more than 1 Terabit/second, and will make available to users a cloud infrastructure that allows the management of activities at the frontier in scientific research and industrial development. "The new National Supercomputing Center will focus on the one hand on the maintenance and enhancement of the Italian HPC and big data infrastructure – reads the note – and on the other hand on the development of advanced numerical methods and applications and software tools, to integrate the calculation, simulation, collection and analysis of data of interest for the research system and for the production and social system, also through cloud and distributed approaches. All this by involving and promoting the best interdisciplinary skills of science and engineering, allowing substantial and sustainable innovations in fields ranging from basic research to computational and experimental sciences for climate, environment, space, from the study of matter and life to medicine, from materials technologies to information systems and devices. With this in mind, the Center will support higher education and promote the development of policies for responsible data management in the perspective of open data and open science, combining regulatory, standardization and compliance profiles: Icsc will be a shared and open cloud/HPC infrastructure, and will be a unique strategic asset for Italy, but also for the international community. The organizational model The National Centre will aggregate the Italian scientific communities of excellence in 10 different areas, will be structured on two pillars of equal importance, infrastructures and thematic areas, and will be organized according to the Hub and Spoke model. The Centre also provides for the involvement of Italian companies to build a synergy between the scientific communities and the industrial world, for the benefit of both the research system and the production system. The Hub will be responsible for validating and managing the research programs, whose activities will be elaborated and implemented by spoke and their affiliated realities, also through calls open to research institutions and companies. The Spoke will be 10 and will take care of as many thematic areas: Future HPC & Big Data, Fundamental Research & Space Economy, Astrophysics & Cosmos Observations, Earth & Climate, Environment & Natural Disaster, Multiscale Modeling & Engineering Applications, Materials & Molecular Sciences, In-Silico Madicine & Omics Data, Digital Society & Smart Cities, Quantum Computing. The Spoke Future HPC & Big Data and Quantum Computing will be of a technological nature and will have as a frontier objective the development of advanced chips and microchips and emerging technologies such as those for quantum computing. The National Centre has also equipped itself with an Ethics and Data Governance Board (EDGB) and a data management unit, as well as a committee for access to supercomputing resources that will be fundamental to enable the research program of thematic Spokes with computational capabilities and power. Finally, to optimize and evaluate the socio-economic impact of its activities, ICSC has set up a dedicated research group that will operate transversally to spokes. The members of the ICSC Foundation Infn Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Cineca, Garr, Cnr Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Inaf Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Ingv Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Iit Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Cmcc Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Clima, Fbk Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Enea National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, Crs4 Center for Research and Development and Higher Studies in Sardinia, Ogs National Institute of Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics, University of Bologna, University of Ferrara, University of Bari, University of Milan Bicocca, Sapienza University of Rome, University of Rome Tor Vergata, University of Trieste, University of Padua, University of Pavia, University of Trento, University of Turin, University of L'Aquila, Federico II University of Naples, University of Pisa, University of Florence, University of Catania, University of Calabria, University of Salento, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, University of Parma, Polytechnic of Bari, Politecnico di Milano, Politecnico di Torino, Sns Scuola Normale Superiore, Sissa Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati, Autostrade per l'Italia, Engineering Ingegneria Informatica, Eni, Ferrovie dello Stato, Fincantieri, Fondazione Innovazione Urbana, Irccs Istituto Clinico Humanitas, Ifab International Foundation Big Data and Artificial Intelligence for Human Development, Intesa San Paolo, Leonardo, Sogei, Thales Alenia Space Italia, Terna, UnipolSai Assicurazioni. The timing of the project The National Centre will enter into full operation on September 1st. Among its first initiatives, there will be the publication by 2022 of the first calls for doctorates and recruitment of researchers and to follow the first open call to involve other subjects in innovation activities. From a technological and infrastructural point of view, on the other hand, among the main stages there is the upgrade of the Leonardo supercomputer to CINECA and the INFN data center, the acquisition of a quantum computer to be placed at the Technopole, the completion of the GARR-T network (Terabit) and some interventions for the creation of thematic satellite centers in other Italian locations. While, in 2024, the enhanced cloud infrastructure will be made available to users. ICSC will become a unique and frontier ecosystem with a strategic role for the country because it will make available to its partners resources and tools that they could not realize and support individually. On the basis of this vision, a function of guidance, coordination and support will be carried out centrally, while the research and innovation activity will be entrusted to the Spokes who will be able to benefit from funding directly or through the Centre. In view of this, the Spoke and their affiliates will undertake at full capacity (from 2026 onwards) to support on their ordinary budget some measures financed during the start-up phase by the PNRR 2022-2025 funds, and to finance the Center with an annual contribution starting from 2022. During the first year of activity, a rewarding mechanism will be identified to encourage the most active and dynamic partners and researchers. The Centre intends to fulfill its strategic role by multiplying the opportunities for partners and stakeholders, maximizing the socio-economic impact in a competitive context, implementing something that does not exist today, without overlapping or competing with the individual research institutes already present, but instead creating added value for its partners and for society. And the key to the success of the initiative lies in the ability to create these conditions already in the start-up phase.