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European Parliament adopts report on European Cloud Initiative

23 February 2017

On 16 February 2017, the European Parliament adopted its report on the European Cloud Initiative. Proposed by the European Commission, the Cloud Initiative aims to strengthen Europe's position in data-driven innovation, improve its competitiveness and cohesion, and help create a Digital Single Market in Europe.

The idea behind the Cloud Initiative is to provide European science, industry and public authorities with infrastructure to store and manage data, high-speed connectivity to transport data and more powerful high performance computers to process data. This is meant to facilitate the use of big data by making it possible to move, share and re-use data seamlessly across global markets and borders, and among institutions and research disciplines. The initiative also aims at facilitating open science and innovation.

The total investment needed to implement the initiative is estimated at €6.7 billion, whereby the Commission expects €2 billion to be allocated under Horizon 2020 and the rest to come from private investment.

The Parliament report welcomes the initiative in principle, but raises concerns regarding the financing and urges the Commission to identify appropriate finance mechanisms and foresee enough money under the current and future framework programme. It also stresses the need for further involvement of all stakeholders, including the science and research community with regard to the definition of open standards for data sharing, the governance of the infrastructure and the implementation. 

The European Commission is currently preparing the roadmap for governance and financing for the European Science Cloud to be presented to the member states by the end of the year. 

EUA participates regularly in stakeholder discussions on the Cloud Initiative through the Open Science Policy Platform, in which EUA is represented by Professor Norbert Lossau (University of Göttingen), member of the EUA Expert Group on Science 2.0/Open Science. EUA will continue to closely monitor the political and stakeholder developments regarding the topic.

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