Eni Offers SuperComputer for Covid Battle
Italian energy major Eni has made its supercomputing infrastructure and its molecular modelling skills freely available for coronavirus research, it said April 9. The ultra-rapid processing power of HPC5 is normally used to assess the possibility of oil and gas reserves lurking behind seismic data. Italy has been the worst-affected country outside China, with the northern part of the country hit particularly severely by Covid-19.
"The collaboration is part of the European project, led by the biopharmaceutical company Dompe, 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," it said.
Eni is working in partnership with Cineca, a non-profit research group that includes universities and the government.
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. Then the partners will research new specific anti-viral molecules by screening billions of structures, it said.
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 CEO Claudio Descalzi.