e-Infrastructures foster the emergence of Open Science, i.e. new working methods based on the shared use of ICT tools and resources across different disciplines and technology domains as well as sharing of results and an open way of working together. Furthermore, e-Infrastructures enable and support the circulation of knowledge in Europe online and therefore constitute an essential building block for the European Research Area (ERA).
The European Commission launched the "European Cloud Initiative - Building a competitive data and knowledge economy in Europe" to capitalise on the data revolution. Under this initiative, a European Data infrastructure will combine world-class supercomputing capability with high-speed connectivity and leading-edge data and sofware services for science, industry and the public sector. This will stimulate Open science and innovation by enabling researchers to access and re-use the huge amounts of scientific data.
The European Cloud initiative will fully unlock the value of big data and foster scientific and technological innovation while helping achieve the objectives of the Digital Single Market Strategy.
More information is available on the European Open Science Cloud webpage.
- Under FP7, the e-Infrastructures activity was part of the Research Infrastructures programme, funded under the FP7 'Capacities' Specific Programme. In Horizon 2020 these activities will continue, with emphasis on further integration and finding synergies and reusing existing infrastructures. Sustainability and innovation, as well as tackling the big data challenge will be the focus areas.
- The full text of the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2016 - 2017 is available.
- e-Infrastructures are key in future development of research infrastructures, as activities go increasingly "online" and produce vast amounts of data. This support is essential for example to the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) to be launched in 2016. Projects to be included are already at application stage to assess their e-needs and many relate to supporting e-infrastructures.
- The Connecting Europe Facility also contributes to the availability of high-speed broadband Internet and access to digital service infrastructures as the building blocks of a modern single market, allowing communication, services and business to grow -allowing markets such as cloud computing, the “internet of things” or big data applications to exploit their full potential.
- The 315 billion euro investment package launched by the Juncker Commission foresees the creation of a new European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) to mobilise at least 315 billion euro of additional investment over the next three years (2015 – 2017). The role of EFSI is to ensure enhanced risk-bearing capacity and mobilise extra investment, essentially from private sources, but also public sources, in specific sectors and areas. One of the key targets of the Fund are infrastructures in all sectors: Transport, Broadband, Energy, Research and Innovation, Education and training, etc.