Jan. 10 2019 — Funding to the tune of €36 million is being provided by Forschungszentrum Jülich’s partners, the German Federal Government and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, until 2020 to accelerate the development of future computer technologies at Jülich. Approximately €32.4 million will come from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), while the remaining €3.6 million will be contributed by the Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia. The funding will be allocated to the long-term strategic expansion of pioneering societal and economic topics such as quantum computing and neuromorphic computing.
“In addition to data, infrastructures are also used to make this data usable for a large number of applications, and investments in the area of computer technologies are thus strengthening our innovation and competitiveness – with investments planned at Forschungszentrum Jülich with a federal share of around €32.4 million. As a federal government, we want to further develop the technological basis of digitization and, in particular, artificial intelligence, in order to safeguard the future of Germany as a federal state,” said the parliamentary State Secretary of the BMBF, Thomas Rachel MdB, explaining the special commitment of the Federal Government.
“In order to be internationally competitive in simulation-driven sciences as well as in industrial applications, scientists and engineers need access to state-of-the-art computer technologies,” Annette Storsberg, State Secretary of the Ministry of Culture and Science NRW. “The development of these technologies at Forschungszentrum Jülich is accorded the highest scientific priority by the state in order to make North Rhine-Westphalia an attractive location for science, such that this would secure the outstanding position of Forschungszentrum Jülich in the long term.”
For several decades, the research center, together with its national partners in the Gauss Center for Supercomputing, has been the international leader in the fields of high-performance computing, simulation and modeling and the development of information technologies of the future. Currently, the Jülich researchers’ particular aim is to develop completely new types of computers: neuromorphic computers whose architecture is based on the functions of the human brain and which are expected to result in enormous performance improvements in image processing and machine learning, as well as quantum computers provide access to previously unsolvable scientific and technical problems.
With this federal and state funding in the areas of high-performance computing for simulation and data analysis, quantum computing and neuromorphic computing, new scientific institutes and working groups with more than 100 additional scientists will be set up in the medium term, and new experimental and user platforms for quantum computing are planned , In addition to the further development of the subject areas, the aim is to gain outstanding scientific talent for the research center.
Jülich’s brain researchers headed by Prof. Katrin Amunts, Director of the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM), are already working together with an international technology company in the field of machine learning. Together, they want to realize the detailed digital mapping of the structure and function of the human brain – a project which, in addition to its use in clinical practice, also provides valuable information for neuro-inspired computing. Jülich also wants to develop into a leading location in the field of quantum computing. For example, a team of scientists headed by Prof. Kristel Michielsen from the Jülich Supercomputing Center (JSC) has succeeded in simulating a quantum computer with 48 quantum bits using supercomputers. This is the current world record.
“These investments will be used to explore technologies that will make ground-breaking discoveries in science and society, such as a comprehensive understanding of the structure and function of the human brain, or the simulation of drugs against common diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. Forschungszentrum Jülich intends to make an important contribution to researching and making use of these technologies, which are of outstanding importance for the research and business location Germany,” says Prof. Wolfgang Marquardt, CEO of Forschungszentrum Jülich.
Source: Forschungszentrum Jülich