Now that it has the Vector Facility in place for the 3090 mainframes, IBM is determined to become a major player in the scientific supercomputing business, and to complement the collaborative links it has made in the US, the company yesterday announced a major $40m two-year initiative embracing at least five European universities and research institutes. The company also plans to donate Vector Facilities for 3090 mainframes to 25 other European educational and research institutions under the programme, under agreements which involve the recipients in educating a generation of scientists and technologists skilled in application of supercomputing techniques. The five Centres of Competence will also develop and exchange software and teaching tools, and give IBM access to software developed using the machines. Only one of the five or so establishments has been definitely decided so far – the Centre National Universitaire Sud de Calcul in Montpellier, close by IBM’s South of France mainframe factory, which also manufactures the Vector Facility but three others have indicated keeness to become involved. The Montpellier college has joined up with IBM France to study advanced parallel processing techniques and high-speed networking. IBM will be installing its Parallel Fortran Prototype compiler as part of the project and the university will also be twinned with Cornell University, one of the five US National Science Foundation supercomputer centres over a high speed communications link. CERN, the Centre for European Research into Nucleonics in Geneva, Switzerland also wants to participate in the IBM programme, doing work on the computational aspects of high energy physics. The Technical University of Aachen, West Germany and the University of Leuven in Belgium, are also keen to participate.