Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Cloud Computing

Topic identifier: ICT-06-2016
Publication date: 14 October 2015

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
IA Innovation action
Opening date:
20 October 2015
Deadline: 12 April 2016 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Industrial Leadership
Work Programme Year: H2020-2016-2017
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Recent trends in cloud computing go towards the development of new paradigms (heterogeneous, federated, distributed clouds) as opposed to the current centralised model, with tight interactions between the computing and networking infrastructures. The challenge is to address, from the research and experimentation perspectives, the necessary evolution in cloud architectures, cloud networking, deployment practices and run-time management as well as the associated security and privacy needs. The ambition is to increase the uptake of cloud technology by providing the robustness, trustworthiness, and performance required for applications currently considered too critical to be deployed on existing clouds. From the innovation side, the challenge is in fostering the provision and adoption of competitive, innovative, secure and reliable cloud computing services by SMEs and public sector organisations across Europe. Mastering these trends in cloud computing will contribute towards a connected Digital Single Market[1].


a. Research and Innovation Actions

New paradigms: proposals may cover one or more of the themes identified below, but not necessarily all of them.

  • Deployment and management of densely interconnected and decentralised cloud infrastructures, including the extension of the fog computing paradigm to the extreme edge of the network;
  • Cloud networking in the context of software-defined data centres as well as re-allocation of resources and services (independently of their location) across distributed computing and geographically separated data storage infrastructures;
  • Techniques to deal with trust, security and privacy in decentralised cloud infrastructures and across multiple cloud providers, including aspects of data integrity, data localisation and data confidentiality;
  • Evolution of cloud architectures to improve the management of physical resources and the efficiency of cloud systems, including the concomitant evolution of databases and cloud computing architectures, to address new challenges on scale, resilience and security posed by data-intensive applications deployed over highly distributed and federated environments.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 3 and 5 million would allow these areas to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

b. Innovation Actions

Proposals should cover one of the themes identified below:

  • Experimentation of cloud-based services and their deployment configurations in large-scale decentralised and federated environments, in particular exploring and contributing towards interoperability and standardisation. Experiments are intended to support the automated deployment of complex applications across multiple clouds and data centres, to investigate the performance of cloud infrastructures and to characterise Quality of Service and Quality of Experience under a wide range of load and fault conditions. The approach should explore aspects of interoperability, scalability, performance, robustness, security and efficiency of the mechanisms, like those put forward by FIRE[2].
  • Cloud Computing for SMEs and Public Sector Innovation: the focus is on fostering innovation through an increased provision and adoption of cloud computing services by two strategic target communities: SMEs and public sector organisations. The focus is on piloting and demonstration in near-operational settings that could lead to the introduction and uptake of new, flexible and resource-effective cloud solutions for SMEs and/or the public sector. The proposed work is intended to leverage these innovative solutions to overcome current challenges such as data portability and interoperability, data protection and access control, standardisation, etc.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 2 and 4 million would allow this area to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Increase Europe's technological capacity and competitiveness through the development of advanced cloud solutions. Proposals should provide appropriate metrics for the claimed impacts.

  • Increased and predictable performance of cloud offerings, facilitating deployment of critical applications and services.
  • Increased trust in clouds through stronger security and data protection practices, including open and auditable solutions for data security. Increased control by users of their data and trust relations.
  • Experimentation across a variety of settings that enhance Quality of Experience and contribute to standardisation and interoperability. Integration with other international initiatives for large-scale global experimentation.
  • Increased readiness for adoption of trustworthy cloud-based solutions for SMEs and public sector organisations, spanning from generic enabling services to specific applications.
  • Demonstration, through appropriate use cases, of the potential to improve the competitive position of the European cloud sector and to facilitate the emergence of innovative business.
Cross-cutting Priorities:

International cooperation


[2]FIRE means Future Internet Research & Experimentation (

Topic conditions and documents

Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application.

  1. List of countries and applicable rules for funding: described in part A of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.
    Note also that a number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects (follow the links to China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Taiwan).

  2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme

    Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the standard proposal template.

  3. Evaluation

    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: described in part H of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme

    3.2 Submission and evaluation process: Guide to the submission and evaluation process

  4. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:

    Information on the outcome of single-stage evaluation: maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.

  5. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic:

    Research and Innovation Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Standard proposal template
    Standard evaluation form
    H2020 General MGA -Multi-Beneficiary
    Annotated Grant Agreement

    Innovation Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Standard proposal template
    Standard evaluation form
    H2020 General MGA -Multi-Beneficiary
    Annotated Grant Agreement

  6. Additional provisions:

    Horizon 2020 budget flexibility

    Classified information

  7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions, and proposals must refer to measures envisaged. Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

    This topic participates per default in the open access to research data pilot which aims to improve and maximise access to and re-use of research data generated by projects:

    • The pilot applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available for open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan (to be provided within six months after the project start).

    • Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they are part of the Pilot, and will not be penalised for opting out of the Pilot.

    • Projects can at any stage opt-out of the pilot.

    The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.
    Further information on the Open Research Data Pilot is made available in the H2020 Online Manual.

  8. Additional documents:
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Introduction
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Introduction to Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies (LEITs)
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Information and communication technologies (ICT)
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation
    H2020 Work Programme 2016-17: General Annexes
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 - Regulation of Establishment
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
    Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme


Additional documents

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