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Luxembourg pursues the implementation of its holistic vision for becoming Europe’s most trusted data economy. The development of skills and expertise was in the focus when the Ministry of the Economy and the University of Luxembourg signed their agreement on higher education and research activities focused on high performance computing, which notably includes the creation by the University of a pilot European Master’s degree in HPC, big data analysis and artificial intelligence. The Ministry of the Economy has pledged to contribute €1.8 million over three years.

A Master’s degree on high performance computing

The University plans to launch a 120 ECTS Master’s degree within the Faculty of Science, Technology and Medicine, and is committed to further developing the national HPC competence centre (EuroCC) and attracting world-class researchers to it. Subject to approval by the University’s governing bodies, the planned new Master’s degree is to be integrated into the first pilot HPC Master that is being set up at European level by a consortium of universities coordinated by the University of Luxembourg.

High performance computing is a key technology for tackling today’s major challenges. Training employees and experts with dedicated skills has therefore become a priority.

The planned Master aims to meet the needs of Luxembourg in its digital transformation and to allow a close collaboration with local industry actors to develop the economic and scientific activity related to the data economy. “High performance computing is a key technology for tackling today’s major challenges such as climate change, energy efficiency, personalised medicine and digital transformation in industry,” said Franz Fayot, Minister of the Economy. “Training employees and experts with dedicated skills has therefore become a priority, which is why the Ministry of the Economy has directly decided to support the establishment of this European Master’s degree in high performance computing, big data analysis and artificial intelligence.”

Meeting the needs of science and industry

The planned Master in HPC/HPDA/AI will be part of the EUMaster4HPC consortium, led by the University of Luxembourg and composed of 60 universities (including eight graduate universities), research centres, supercomputers, industrial partners and SMEs, and other contributing partners. It supports the development of HPC skills, education and fundamental training for European science and industry. The first courses of this European pilot Master are offered from September 2022 in several of the universities of the consortium. The first courses of the planned new Master at the University of Luxembourg are to be offered from September 2023.

Skills are at least as important as technologies.

“Skills are at least as important as technologies. And with this new course, the University of Luxembourg is making a significant and timely contribution to fill the skills gap in the field of HPC, said Claude Meisch, Minister for Higher Education and Research. “An approach that consists of covering the entire innovation chain, from teaching and basic research to applied research, and finally leading to practical and economic uses, is in my view indispensable if we want all stakeholders, including and especially SMEs and start-ups, to get on board HPC in the medium term.”

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