The great advantage of technological development is the many incredibly useful tools it gives mankind, which can forge unexpected connections, above all at times of crisis. Connections like that between Eni and the European Union, for example, who have come together to fight Covid-19. Fight it how, you ask? By putting the funds aside to form a network of researchers, universities and pharmaceutical companies of the highest calibre, and putting one of the world’s most powerful calculators to work.
These are the pillars of Exscalate4CoV, a public-private cooperative project funded by the European Union’s “Horizon 2020” initiative, to fight the coronavirus pandemic and improve the management and care of its patients. The E4C consortium, overseen by the Italian pharmaceutical company Dompé Farmaceutici, assembles 18 institutions and research centres in seven European countries and uses the supercomputer HPC5 from Eni’s Green Data Centre. The name of the project is an acronym: “Exscalate” is short for “EXaSCale smArt pLatform Against paThogEns”, one of the most powerful and energy-efficient supercomputing platforms in the world. E4C has a chemical library of 500 billion molecules and a processing capacity of over 3 million molecules a second. It provides an essential resource when searching for a vaccine against a pathogen.