Denmark to get powerful AI supercomputer and research centre

Denmark to get powerful AI supercomputer and research centre

Denmark will soon be home to one of the world’s most powerful artificial intelligence (AI) supercomputers.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation, the world’s wealthiest charity, announced on Tuesday that it was entering into a partnership with Nvidia and the Investment Fund of Denmark to establish a national AI research centre that will be home to the supercomputer.

The foundation is also the majority shareholder of Novo Nordisk, the Danish maker of diabetes and weight loss medication Ozempic.

Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen, CEO of the Novo Nordisk Foundation, said in a press release that the centre will be used for "groundbreaking scientific discoveries," in drug discovery, disease diagnosis and treatment.

"AI has now provided us with an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate [this] research," Krogsgaard Thomsen said, adding that the national AI centre "can help Denmark’s brilliant researchers and innovators rise to the next level".

Nvidia, a California-based multinational company, is known for designing and manufacturing graphics processing units (GPUs) and has become a dominant supplier of AI hardware in recent years.

The company is now one of the largest on the US stock market, valued at approximately $2.234 trillion (€2.06 trillion).

So far, DKK 700 million (€93.8 million) has been dedicated to the Danish Centre for AI Innovation.

Denmark called 'thriving' AI research hub

The supercomputer is named Gefion after a Norse goddess of abundance and prosperity. Novo Nordisk awarded the contract to build the computer to Eviden, based in France.

A promotional video for the Eos, an "extremely large-scale" NVIDIA supercomputer, describes it as an "AI factory," with a large engine that will always be available so innovators can build "more useful AIs, faster".

It can train large language models, recommender systems, and quantum simulations.

Denmark does not have a computer capable of doing this type of work yet.

The people consulted on this business decision at universities and government ministries believe that it's the "main roadblock to progress," in what they call a "thriving" AI research hub, according to the press release.

This supercomputer coming to Denmark is the latest in a series of new partnerships by Nvidia. Last November, NVIDIA announced they are working with Scaleaway, a subsidiary of French telecommunications provider iliad Group, on cloud computing.

In the same month, Nvidia made two more partnership announcements, this time with Microsoft and Amazon, to build a cloud-based AI computer and develop supercomputing techniques for generative AI.

The future Danish Centre for AI Innovation will be ready for pilot projects before the end of the year.