EC aims to build EUR 6.7 bill…

EC aims to build EUR 6.7 billion science cloud

Horizon 2020 projects data to become open by default

The European Commission wants to build a EUR 6.7 billion cloud infrastructure to help Europe's millions of scientists and technology innovators store, share and re-use their science data. The science cloud will connect and improve existing research data infrastructure.

In 2017, the EC will make open by default all scientific data produced by future projects under the EUR 77 billion Horizon 2020 research and innovation funding programme, the Commission announced on 19 April “The benefits of open data for Europe's science, economy and society will be enormous”, the statement quotes Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, as saying.

Making research data publicly available should boost start-ups, SMEs and data-driven innovation, the EC says, for example in the fields of medicine and public health. It can even spur new industries, as demonstrated by the Human Genome Project, the EC writes.

To build the cloud, the EC will invest EUR 2 billion in funds from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme. The remaining EUR 4.7 billion should be contributed by national governments and the private sector.


The project will mean building two new supercomputers, of which at least one supercomputer should be in the world’s top-three. The European Cloud Initiative is to include new high performance computing environments and large scale storage networks. The Commission also wants to establish a big data centre and upgrade the backbone network for research and innovation (GEANT).

The EC will start by federating existing science and research computer networks.

Europe is the largest producer of scientific data in the world, the EC said. Currently, insufficient and fragmented infrastructure means this 'big data' is not being exploited to its full potential.


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