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Cineca is a non-profit consortium, made up of 70 Italian universities, four national research centres, and the Ministry of Universities and Research (MIUR), and was established in 1969 in Casalecchio di Reno, Bologna.

It is the most powerful supercomputing centre for scientific research in Italy, as stated in the TOP500-list of the most powerful supercomputers in the world: Fermi, the supercomputing system IBM Blue Gene/Q installed in June 2012, and ranked at the 7th position on the list, in 2015 is ranked at the 23rd position.

The consortium's institutional mission is to support the Italian scientific community through supercomputing and scientific visualisation tools. Since the end of the 1980s, Cineca has broadened the scope of its mission by embracing other IT sectors, developing management and administrative services for universities and designing ICT systems for the exchange of information between the MIUR and the Italian national academic system. The consortium is also strongly committed to transfer technology to many categories of users, from public administration to the private enterprises.

Today it merges the specificities and competences of the other two Italian high performance computing consortia, Cilea and Caspur: as a unique reference point for technology innovation in Italy, with its services Cineca supports the whole higher education and research system.

Cineca takes part in several research projects funded by the European Union for the promotion and development of IT technologies ( grid computing, bioinformatic, digital content, the promotion of transnational access to European supercomputing centres, etc.).