New building for the North Bavarian High-Performance Computing Center

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Science minister Markus Blume approves north Bavarian partner to the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) in Garching.

Construction of a new building for the North Bavarian High-Performance Computing Center is about to start. Science minister Markus Blume has approved the planning application of the high-tech project that will cost around 260 million euros. The Free State of Bavaria has already reached beyond the 1.5 billion euro investment earmarked for the modernization of FAU in new construction projects that began in 2019. Following such significant investment, FAU will be able to reach the next level of its strategic development during the current decade.

Science minister Markus Blume: “This milestone project will propel FAU into the first division – in terms of computer infrastructure and investments. This new high-performance computing center means we will have a second center in Bavaria in addition to the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) in Garching. It will enable us to advance to completely new dimensions in data processing. Networking is the key term here as all universities and all disciplines, from the humanities to quantum research, will benefit from this excellent new infrastructure. This is a great opportunity for the entire region and also a strong signal for FAU as the largest university in northern Bavaria to reach new levels of excellence.”

Minister for Housing, Construction and Transportation Christian Bernreiter: “I am very pleased to be able to set the course for the strategic development of FAU with this new building project. We are creating a center for excellence and innovation for IT that will be integrated into national supply and research structures way beyond the region of Nuremberg, Erlangen and Fürth.”

Minister of Finance and Home Affairs Albert Füracker: “We are making Bavaria strong for the future together. As part of the High-tech Agenda Bavaria, our aim is to create cutting-edge and top class conditions for research, teaching and development all over Bavaria, that will be felt way beyond Bavaria’s borders. We are investing heavily and with a view to the future in the development and ongoing modernization of our universities. The new building for the North Bavarian High-Performance Computing Center at FAU is another important step toward our digital future. We need to think globally and act locally in our regional development policy!”

Minister of the Interior Joachim Herrmann: “The Bavarian State Government stands by its promises. Investing over 1.5 billion euros means that it has exceeded the goals set in 2019 and is ensuring the continuing development of Erlangen and FAU as an attractive international location for science and research. The appeal of the region as an excellent location for researchers from all over the world will increase even further.”

FAU President  Prof. Dr. Joachim Hornegger: “Top-level research is increasingly reliant on processing immense volumes of data at extremely high speeds and this is by no means limited to engineering, as it is also required everywhere where artificial intelligence is being used – whether in medicine, geosciences or humanities. The new high-performance computing center will significantly improve research performance throughout Northern Bavaria. Once again, we will be able to demonstrate that excellent research requires powerful infrastructure that can hold its own on an international level.”

Unique high-tech infrastructure for universities in Northern Bavaria

Establishing a high-performance computing center in Northern Bavaria is a far-reaching decision for the future. The project works at several levels to raise the standard of computer infrastructure at universities in Franconia to an entirely new dimension. The existing computing center at FAU will become a center for excellence and innovation for IT in the research landscape of Northern Bavaria. The extensive modifications to the computer infrastructure required not only mean a decisive leap forward for FAU, but also for all other universities in Northern Bavaria that will be using these facilities. This means that the requirements of the new University of Technology Nuremberg (UTN) were included in the planning from the very beginning to ensure Bavaria’s newest university gets off to the best possible start.

Nationwide significance and part of a national network

Establishing high-performance computing infrastructure in Northern Bavaria is of nationwide significance and is considered a flagship project. After approval from the Joint Science Conference (GWK), the Center for National High-Performance Computing Erlangen (NHR@FAU) was set up at FAU in 2021 in order to form a national network with a further eight centers across the whole of Germany. The federal government and the states provide funding for an initial period of ten years (2021–2030) for the hardware, operating costs and personnel costs of the project partners. The new building for the computing center at FAU Campus Erlangen (South) means the Bavarian government is creating the best possible facilities under its own responsibility.