With the launch of MareNostrum 5, the BSC has established itself as a world-leading supercomputing center. The center has a staff of over 900, most of whom are researchers in four scientific divisions: Computer Science, Life Sciences, Earth Sciences, and Computational Applications for Science and Engineering.
“Catalonia takes an unprecedented step forward with the MareNostrum 5, one of the major objectives of European strategic autonomy and Catalonia's economic and social future”
Pere Aragonès, President of the Government of Catalonia
MareNostrum 5 is the largest European investment in scientific infrastructure ever made in Spain, with a total cost of 202 million euros. The machine's acquisition cost €151.4 million, which was jointly funded by the European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking (EuroHPC JU) and the EU's Connecting Europe Facility and Horizon 2020 research and innovation programs, as well as the participating countries - Spain (through the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities and the Government of Catalonia), Turkey and Portugal.
MareNostrum 5's unique computational architecture will help advance science across all disciplines, including creating digital twins of the planet Earth and the human body, exploring new treatments for diseases such as cancer, developing healthier and more sustainable cities, and exploring new energy sources and materials.
Before its launch, MareNostrum 5 was recognized by HPCWire, the most prestigious international supercomputing magazine, as the Top Supercomputing Achievement of 2023 for the way it "combines traditional supercomputing with artificial intelligence to drive discoveries and expand new frontiers of science with the development of digital twins to study the climate and progress towards more personalized medicine".
The opening ceremony, during which the supercomputing system was put into live operation, was attended by the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez; the President of the Government of Catalonia, Pere Aragonès; the Executive Director of the EuroHPC JU, Anders Dam Jensen and BSC Director, Mateo Valero.
"We share the aim of making Barcelona a European scientific reference for the benefit of Barcelona, Catalonia, and the whole of Spain. The BSC is a center of excellence in the new knowledge economy that will generate hundreds of jobs directly and thousands indirectly and will train the professionals of today and tomorrow", stressed the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez.
"Catalonia takes an unprecedented step forward with the MareNostrum 5, one of the major objectives of European strategic autonomy and Catalonia's economic and social future. Today, we are making a supercomputer available to Catalonia's knowledge ecosystem, with 4,500 chips, each with twice the power of the first supercomputer that was launched less than 20 years ago. A potential that will be at the service of science, but also has a clear link with the citizens and with the needs of the present and the future", said the President of the Government of Catalonia, Pere Aragonès.
Anders Dam Jensen, Executive Director of the EuroHPC JU, said: "I am delighted to see MareNostrum 5 inaugurated and ready to serve European research in the new year. This day marks another major achievement for European supercomputing, and for us at the EuroHPC JU, it represents the end of our first chapter of procuring European supercomputers. All eight machines in the first generation of EuroHPC systems are now out in the world and ready for access by European researchers to push the boundaries of scientific and technological innovation".
"Supercomputers are instruments at the service of science and engineering, accelerators of theory that allow the development of digital twins in very diverse and essential fields for society, such as climate change or precision medicine. We are very proud of the arrival of the new MareNostrum 5, one of the most important machines in Europe and the world to advance in the great challenges of science, such as the digital twin of the Earth, which we seek to develop as part of the Destination Earth project, one of Europe's great bets to combat climate change; or human digital twins, which will serve to create more efficient drugs to treat diseases that are difficult to treat today, among others. The presentation of MareNostrum 5 paves the way for the next MareNostrum 6, which we hope will incorporate European technology, a milestone that could be a reality in 5- or 6-years' time," said BSC director Mateo Valero.
In a recent interview with Catalonia Trade & Investment, Mateo Valero explained how the Barcelona Supercomputing Center will be one of the largest labs in the world, creating high-performance chips that will be used in applications such as future autonomous cars, supercomputers, and artificial intelligence.