The Digital Single Market strategy includes a call for cooperation in digital matters at international level. The openness of the European market is to be maintained and developed further in the digital sphere. In this context the adoption of cloud services should be supported and promoted globally. The Digital Single Market is able to build on the actions of the Cloud Computing Strategy of 2012.
Through ongoing ICT policy dialogues, the European Commission is discussing aspects of key cloud-based services with Japan, Brazil, South Korea and also the USA. This includes certification, code of conduct, model contract terms for cloud computing services and standards. To support the policy dialogues, a number of joint research initiatives are already in place with Japan, Brazil and South Korea.
For research and innovation, the plan is to progress together towards joint technological approaches and reach consensus on future standards. This will guarantee a minimum level of interoperability and portability. The result will be more competition in the cloud services market.
In Horizon 2020 (H2020) the goal is to strengthen the collaboration on cloud computing through coordinated calls with selected international partners, namely Brazil, Japan and South Korea. The Commission expects that this focused research collaboration will benefit the on-going policy discussions with Brazil and revamp those with Japan. Joint projects will address topics such as cloud interoperability and data portability, which were identified as areas of common interest through consultations with industry in all relevant countries.
European Union - Brazil
Policy collaboration has included work on identifying barriers that may preclude the adoption of cloud-based services in the European Union (EU) and in Brazil. It also identified concrete joint initiatives to minimise such barriers.
The European Union and Brazil have identified barriers such as:
- complexity of the legal framework (users’ rights, data location, data protection and privacy, including global aspects of these issues);
- security (a lack of a common approach to security levels)a lack of common standards;
- for (interoperable) cloud computing services.
An EU-Brazil coordinated call on cloud computing, including security aspects, was published in the first Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2014/2015 as part of the third Coordinated Call jointly funded by the EU and Brazil, which focuses on Advanced Cyber Infrastructures. Two research projects focussing on cloud computing technologies including security aspects have been selected: SecureCloud (2016-2018) and EUBRA-BIGSEA (2016-2018). A third one, EU-Brazil Cloud Forum (2016-2018) will define the research priorities for the next collaboration under work programme 2018-20. Ensuing projects will develop innovative technologies for cloud-based service provision that take security concerns into account.
The EU-Brazil collaboration is expected to advance cloud-centric applications for Big Data, and go some way towards facilitating policy coordination between the EU and Brazil.
European Union - Japan
Ongoing discussions in the context of the EU-Japan structured dialogues have attempted to focus on areas where there is a chance of concrete outcomes – standards, SLAs and certification.
Research collaboration is yielding significant results with three joint calls so far. The early focus was towards the integration of cloud and Internet of Things technologies.
One of the successful projects with high visibility in Europe and Japan is ClouT, a project drawing on cloud computing and the Internet of Things to create smart cities. The project started in April 2013 and finished in June 2016. ClouT results are open to Cloud and IoT communities and are helping smart cities to provide responsive services to improve the quality of life of their citizens. ClouT field trials are currently being deployed in four cities: Santander (Spain), Genova (Italy), and Mitaka and Fujisawa (Japan). Each field trial validates innovative applications useful in smart city domains. In addition, an intercontinental trial engaging all four cities demonstrated the success of this collaboration in: co-development of technologies that may lead to global standards; dealing with cross-border compatibility issues; sharing experiences on advanced concepts and promotion of industrial innovation.
In H2020, the topic on combining cloud with IoT and Big Data has attracted a lot of attention, and during the following calls with Japan two projects were selected: iKaaS (2014-2017), a project that aims to deliver intelligent Knowledge-as-a-Service, and BIGCLOUT (2016-2019). The latter will leverage the results of ClouT and bring them beyond by working towards a programmable smart cities platform.
European Union - South Korea
An EU-Korea coordinated call on cloud computing was published in the H2020 Work Programme 2016-2017. One research project was selected: BASMATI a two-year project regarding Cloud technologies has started in July 2016 with a focus on Federated Cloud resource brokerage for mobile cloud services. The project will develop an integrated brokerage platform targeting federated clouds that supports the dynamic needs of mobile applications and users
European Union - United States of America
Cooperation on policy issues is ongoing in the context of EU-US structured dialogues which focuses on areas where there is an opportunity for concrete outcomes, such as exchange of best practices, common contractual aspects, SMEs, cloud standards mapping and interoperability.