Nordic, Estonian e-infrastructures cooperation conference taking place in Tallinn

  • 2024-05-28
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - A conference of the Nordic e-Infrastructure Collaboration (NeIC) was set to begin in Tallinn on Tuesday, bringing together nearly a hundred experts, researchers, national service providers, and policymakers from the Nordic countries and Estonia.

Representing Estonia at the conference are members of parliament Andres Sutt and Mario Kadastik, Aile Tamm, head of research infrastructure at the Ministry of Education and Research, and Ivar Koppel, CEO of Estonian Scientific Computing Infrastructure.

NeIC is a cooperation initiative of the Nordic Council of Ministers' research organization NordForsk, with partner countries including Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, and Estonia. NeIC develops and operates e-infrastructure necessary for research activities and related services. Additionally, NeIC supports strategic cooperation between Nordic and Estonian e-infrastructures and offers cooperation opportunities for specialists in various fields. Furthermore, expertise is gathered and open science is promoted, thus benefiting both researchers and society as a whole.

Koppel said that NeIC membership provides an opportunity to enhance the competitiveness of Estonia's research infrastructure and contribute knowledge and expertise to collaboration projects with significant impact. 

"The Puhur service, which enables cross-border access to the LUMI supercomputer, is an example of successful cooperation. LUMI is the fastest supercomputer in Europe and one of the most important research instruments globally, which can also be utilized by Estonian companies. A hybrid system, consisting of LUMI and the Helmi quantum computer, located in Finland, also utilizes the Puhur solution, making it the first of its kind in the world," Koppel said. He added that NeIC projects are characterized by relatively little bureaucracy, allowing work to progress more quickly than with typical EU projects.

Over the course of its 12 years of operation, NeIC has engaged experts from all Nordic e-infrastructure centers. Estonia has been a full member of NeIC since 2020, after being an observer for two years. Successful cooperation between the Nordic countries and Estonia grants researchers access to cutting-edge e-infrastructure and support services that individual partner countries would not be able to provide independently. This, in turn, promotes research activities throughout the region. NeIC's ultimate goal is to become the world's largest cross-border e-infrastructure cooperation network.