THE CONTEXT AND SCIENTIFIC OBJECTIVES
We live in a data society. The progressive digitalisation of many human activities has made a considerably large amount of data and information available, a trend which is expected to continue increasing, producing amounts of data never witnessed up to this day.
Filing, sorting, sharing, processing and interpreting these data, the so-called big data, or building digital copies of complex systems, a.k.a. the digital twins, is currently the great undertaking of our time to make this country competitive, in the realm of scientific research as well as in the manufacturing system, so as to be able to face present and future challenges, such as environmental conservation, safeguarding personal and public health, the creation of smart cities, and sustainable development.
The great availability of computational power allows for the simulation of complex systems, in order to understand their functioning and predict their behaviour for a number of purposes, e.g., studying very relevant phenomena, like the spreading of an epidemic or climate changes, planning interventions and allocating resources thanks to these simulations. Big data management is thus a priority, as is the simultaneous application of algorithms and programmes, for which massive computing resources and cutting-edge technologies are necessary, namely high-throughput computing (HTC) or high-performance computing (HPC), the development of innovative solutions such as quantum computers, state-of-the-art algorithms, and mathematical and statistical models.
In this context, supercomputing, numerical simulations, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and frontier technologies are essential tools in promoting developments and discoveries in the industrial sector and in scientific research alike, contributing to the economic, social, and cultural growth of our society.
The national HPC, Big Data e Quantum Computing Centre has the triple objective of building an Italian supercomputing infrastructure (Spoke 0), combining research and innovation resources in highly strategic sectors for our country, thus becoming the national platform in support of scientific and industrial initiatives. The National Centre aims to become an internationally appealing innovative ecosystem serving our country, in order to bolster Italy’s competitiveness and make a contribution towards European leadership in this sector.