Eni said Thursday it has freely made its supercomputing infrastructure and its molecular modelling skills available for Coronavirus research, offering its contribution with its tools and resources of excellence in the fight against this global emergency.
The collaboration is part of the European EXSCALATE4CoV project, led by the biopharmaceutical company Dompé, which brings together institutions and research centres in Italy and other European countries to identify the safest and most promising drugs in the fight against the Coronavirus. Eni contributes to the project in partnership with Cineca, a non-profit research consortium that involves the collaboration of universities, national research centres and the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research.
The joint team will carry out dynamic molecular simulations of viral proteins relevant to the COVID-19 strain, to identify the most effective pharmaceutical components among the 10,000 present in the databases. Afterwards, an activity will be carried out for the research of new specific anti-viral molecules through the screening of billions of structures.
Eni has already started the activity with Cineca, and is providing the consortium with its technical skills and its HPC5 supercomputing system, the world’s most powerful supercomputer for industrial use. Its hybrid architecture makes the algorithms for molecular simulation particularly efficient.
“During a global emergency such as this, we must mobilize all available resources to overcome the challenges ahead. We are proud to contribute to finding solutions to this challenge facing humanity,” said Claudio Descalzi, Eni’s CEO.
“We thank Eni for its valuable contribution and we are confident that this collaboration will significantly contribute to achieve a result in the next future as well as providing a model for the recovery” said Sanzio Bassini, Director of Cineca’s supercomputing department.
Eni presented its new supercomputer HPC5 in February 2020. It supports the previous system (HPC4), by tripling its computing power from 18 to 52 PetaFlop/s, equivalent to 52 million billion mathematical operations per second, allowing Eni’s supercomputing ecosystem to reach a total peak power of 70 PetaFlop/s. The supercomputer was designed to accelerate the company’s transformation and the development of new energy sources.