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Europe has launched a new approach to its extreme scale computing and data, with huge investment already in place and more expected in the next few years. The vision is that high-performance computing and big data analysis will open the way to ‘excellent science and technology’ in unprecedented manners, and at the same time will act as a ‘moon shot’ endeavor boosting the development of strategic and technological know-how in the digital sector. For this to happen, the condition is to ensure the simultaneous evolution of software together with the new supercomputers, and to invest on a new generation of researchers who can make all this possible. The spotlight of this session is on the applications, the ‘apps’: the computer codes that enable scientific discovery and technological advances with supercomputers. Here the European leadership is well recognized in many important domains: We are standing on the shoulders of great researchers (many of them in Trieste!) who have developed leading computer codes used worldwide, for example in the field of materials and bio-molecular design. The challenge now is to co-design the hardware and software evolution, and the education strategies, to ensure that the future exascale architectures give a further boost to computational science and technology, including artificial intelligence, and that they work for the best of science and humanity. The session involves two leading scientists, Erik Lindahl and Elisa Molinari, offering examples of visionary science enabled by extreme computing in two paradigmatic fields: bio-molecular research for drug design, and the design and discovery of materials. It also involves Roberto Cingolani, a leading expert in industrial applications of HPC in frontier high-technology domains. The discussion is led by Carlo Cavazzoni, a leading expert in HPC and its policies in Europe. After a short presentation of the speakers, the experts will engage with the public on the opportunities and challenging implications of exascale technology developments.