Denmark is set to establish a national AI innovation center featuring one of the world’s most powerful AI supercomputers. The initiative is led by the Novo Nordisk Foundation and the Export and Investment Fund of Denmark (EIFO) and aims to boost research and innovation across various sectors, including healthcare, life sciences and green transition. The Danish Centre for AI Innovation, as the initiative is called, will be established in collaboration with NVIDIA, the leading company in the world when it comes to state-of-the-art hardware for AI.

“Groundbreaking scientific discoveries are based on data, and AI has now provided us with an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate research within, for example, human and planetary health,” says Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, CEO of the Novo Nordisk Foundation. “Drug discovery, disease diagnosis, and treatment, as well as complicated life science challenges, are examples of areas where extreme AI computing power can enable the positive transformation of our society. The collaboration with NVIDIA and the resulting national AI innovation centre can help Denmark’s brilliant researchers and innovators rise to the next level.” 

Quote from NNF press release.

The new AI supercomputer will be equipped with more than 1500 interconnected NVIDIA H100 Hopper GPUs. Recently, SDU acquired 4 servers with 4 H100 GPUs, available nationally via the DeiC Interactive HPC service, and since no such machines had been available to all Danish universities until then, this marked a great boost for Danish AI research and innovation. The new AI supercomputer, once operational, will obviously take this boost to a whole new level.

“This new NVIDIA-based supercomputer is a great gift from Novo Nordisk Foundation and EIFO to danish research. It was a really exciting project to work on and a great pleasure to work closely with the incredibly good people at NNF and other partners involved. We will continue to collaborate with the foundation with the goal to provide the best value for danish researchers,” says Prof. Claudio Pica, director of the SDU eScience Center

The Novo Nordisk Foundation has consulted many stakeholders during the year-long process to establish the new center and AI supercomputer, including supercomputer expert Prof. Claudio Pica. He will continue to work closely with the foundation in the coming months.

The AI supercomputer, named Gefion, will be delivered by Eviden, an Atos Group company, and is expected to be operational for pilot projects by the end of 2024. The Novo Nordisk Foundation has allocated approximately DKK 600 million, with an additional DKK 100 million from EIFO, for the initial phase.

At the SDU eScience Center, we look forward to following the progress of the new center and AI supercomputer, Gefion, closely, and we are very excited about this initiative from the Novo Nordisk Foundation and EIFO!

You can read more about Gefion and the Danish Centre for AI Innovation via the Novo Nordisk Foundation press release here.