Since the creation of the European Union there have been many initiatives and cooperative efforts to help the Union advance, and the Cloud Initiative is no different. The purpose of this initiative is to give Europe a global lead in the data-driven economy through the creation of a Digital Single Market in Europe.
Currently Europe is the largest producer of scientific data in the world with 1.7 million researchers and 70 million science and technology professionals. However, the current fragmented infrastructure means that this big data cannot be exploited to its full potential. Therefore, by improving and interconnecting the existing cloud infrastructure the Commission intends to create a new European Open Science Cloud. This cloud will enable science and technology professionals to store, share and re-use their data in different locations reducing the cost of data storage and high performance analysis. This open access to research data is hoped to boost Europe’s competiveness by benefitting start-ups, SMEs and data-driven innovation.
In order to make this possible the European Commission will be upgrading the European Data Infrastructure, deploying the high-bandwidth networks, large scale storage facilities and super-computer capacity necessary to effectively access and process large datasets stored in the cloud. This world-class infrastructure will ensure Europe participates in the global race for high performance computing in line with its economic and knowledge potential.
In March of this year the European Commission have created a blueprint for cloud based services and world class data infrastructure to ensure science, business and public services reap the benefits of big data revolution.
The Commission will progressively put in place the European Cloud Initiative through a series of actions, including:
As of 2016: Creating a European Open Science Cloud for European researchers and their global scientific collaborators by integrating and consolidating e-infrastructure platforms, federating existing scientific clouds and research infrastructures, and supporting the development of cloud-based services.
2017: Opening up by default all scientific data produced by future projects under the €77 billion Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, to ensure that the scientific community can re-use the enormous amount of data they generate.
2018: Launching a flagship-type initiative to accelerate the nascent development of quantum technology, which is the basis for the next generation of supercomputers.
By 2020: Developing and deploying a large scale European high performance computing, data storage and network infrastructure, including by acquiring two prototype next-generation supercomputers of which one would rank among the top three in the world, establishing a European big data centre, and upgrading the backbone network for research and innovation (GEANT).
All information took from the European Commission Press Release on the European Cloud Initiative to give Europe a global lead in the data-driven economy. Full Press Release found at http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-1408_en.htm