The Commission’s DG CONNECT (unit E2) launched a web-based public consultation with a view to defining the future research priorities in cloud computing, software and services, ahead of the Horizon 2020 (H2020) ICT Work Programme 2014-15. All interested stakeholders (industry, research centres, academia, SMEs and users) were invited to contribute. The web consultation, which was open from on 26 February to 2 April 2013, attracted 43 written contributions (available on the Digital Agenda website).

A post-consultation workshop was held in Brussels, on 17 April 2013, in order to discuss and validate the views expressed by the different stakeholders during the consultation. The workshop raised significant interest, demonstrated by a large number of registrations. Twenty-four good quality presentations were delivered to 72 participants (out of 88 registrations, including one MEP and one member of the ICT Committee).

One of the goals of the workshop was to bring together existing and new stakeholders, in particular from innovative technology-oriented SMEs and from the public sector, with the aim of better focusing the first H2020 Work Programme to maximise its impact on competitiveness and growth. Many new faces were seen, even among the speakers. A more detailed analysis of the content of the presentations and speaker/contributor profiles will be released in due course. 

Considering that the first H2020 call for proposals is expected to be published by the end of 2013, new projects are likely to be launched, at the earliest, in the second half of 2014. Typically, the research projects will run for two or three years. Therefore, the Work Programme is expected to focus on infrastructures, services, technologies and innovation that will be ripe for commercial deployment after 2018.

A recurrent debate during the workshop was the apparent contradiction between the rapid developments in the sector and the relatively long delay between the preparation of the Work Programme and its expected results. Nevertheless, the consultation clearly demonstrated that good progress is being made as far as cloud computing and software and services are concerned. Some fine-tuning of the Work Programme is however anticipated. Meanwhile, the Public Consultation Report is scheduled to be available for distribution by 10 May 2013, following a presentation of the report to the Commission services on 3 May 2013.

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Public Consultation on Cloud Computing, Software and Services