On 23 February 2022, the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, visited the Bologna Technopole, with the Minister of Universities and Research Maria Cristina Messa and the Minister of Education, Patrizio Bianchi.
The delegation, accompanied by the Director General of Cineca David Vannozzi visited the CINECA construction site where the Leonardo supercomputer is being built.
As you can see in the photos in the gallery on this page, the works in the building that will host the supercomputer are in full swing, complete with excavated bulldozers: the Cineca technicians used the printed renderings to illustrate to institutional guests what the structure will be like. completed. Countless applications of data will derive from extraordinary computing power, from health to earthquakes, from climate to pollution.
Later, the delegation moved to the datacenter of the European Center for Medium-Term Meteorological Forecasts (ECMWF), for a meeting on the role of Italy in the European supercomputing system.
Commissioner Mariya Gabriel recalled Europe's strong interest in the project. "I believe that Bologna is sending a very strong signal in the field of technology and advancement: when we work together we arrive at a tangible result, of great strength. Many times it is said that there is a lack of leadership in the science sector, but no. Bologna there makes it clear that there is leadership in the science sector and creates results that are useful for the entire population, for all our productive sectors, even for small and medium-sized enterprises. What I saw today during the whole visit it's a very positive message "
Minister Maria Cristina Messa described the main drivers of the project: "The Bologna hub was conceived, developed and built along three lines in particular. First of all, it started from the analysis of the research and development forces of the Emilia Region. -Romagna which has concentrated many efforts here. Second, starting from these forces an inclusive network of all the realities that could have a role in this area was created. The third strong point was that of having designed and built this Hub together to Europe. For this we must thank Minister Bianchi, who was the real proponent of the project. Cineca's role in the management of this huge EU project is fundamental both for development and research and for the service that will be given to all the community of innovators ".
The Minister of Education Patrizio Bianchi recalled: "We arrived here after a long journey that we have carried out over the years, in which we have simply collected a tradition that was extraordinary which was that of Cineca and Infn. We have collected this tradition and this extraordinary challenge that had been proposed to us, we have found this place - the old Tobacco Factory - which becomes the central point of the European Big Data system ".
During the visit, David Vannozzi, General Director of Cineca - explained that the Bologna Technopole will become the showcase of Europe and will be able to enable Italy and Europe to compete with China, the United States and Japan. "Supercomputing is not only decisive in economic competition today, but it also represents the gateway to artificial intelligence. And with the supercomputer Leonardo, elements of knowledge are made available to the political decision-maker in real time. The areas of application of supercomputing are unlimited today we have laid the foundations to enter the fourth industrial revolution and re-read reality, to modify it, through supercomputing ".
The President of Cineca Francesco Ubertini, who was unable to attend the event for personal reasons, in sending his greetings recalled that "Thanks to the supercomputer Leonardo, the main Data Center of the INFN (National Institute of Nuclear Physics, for the analysis of CERN data, ed), at the power of the ECMWF Weather Center, the Technopole will become one of the main supercomputing and big data hubs in the world. The presence of Commissioner Gabriel and the White and Mass ministers is testimony to the value that international and national institutions assign to such an important pole in this historical phase. From this point of view, the Cineca consortium is one of the protagonists of the challenge to the future launched by the Technopole, the technological heart of innovation in Italy ". In Emilia-Romagna, in fact, thanks to the ability of institutions, the world of research and companies to work as a team, a real data valley has developed which is a candidate to become a technological hub for the Research and Innovation initiatives in supercomputing envisaged by the Plan. National Recovery and Resilience. The PNRR, in fact, provides for the creation of National Centers dedicated to Research and Development activities in strategic and enabling technological contexts, with the aim of aggregating the main subjects of academic and institutional research, public and private, to share skills, guaranteeing the effectiveness of the projects undertaken and their positive impact on society ".