While some implementations of cloud-based services are now found in the marketplace, many technical challenges still remain unresolved –leading to businesses missing out on countless opportunities. The European cloud market is heterogeneous, dispersed and fragmented. But it is also very flexible. This, combined with the continent’s vast expertise, gives Europe the chance to lead the way in cloud technology – by stepping up investment in research efforts.


Recent developments (September 2014)

A call for proposals targeting cloud computing in the public sector (ICT8) is expected on 15 October 2014, with the closing date planned 14 April 2015 (please always check the actual dates. The calls are published at Horizon 2020 Calls for Proposals, pillar "Industrial Leadership,", LEIT).

The EU has identified the main challenge to be overcoming barriers to the uptake of cloud computing by the public sector. The solution involves helping the sector to prepare for the adoption of competitive, secure, reliable and integrated cloud computing services through:

  • pre-commercial procurement for public sector cloud computing services;
  • public procurement of innovative cloud computing solutions.

For further information, consult the Horizon 2020 work programme 2014-2015.

An ICT Proposers' day will take place on 9-10 October 2014 in Florence. The session "Cloud Computing Procurement Actions" on 9 October 2014 targets topic ICT8 about public sector and cloud computing.

Funded under the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, the Cloud-for-Europe (C4E) project is already a key piece in the European Cloud Computing Strategy. The public sector initiative is investigating public organisations’ cloud procurement requirements. It is a double partnership, on the one hand between public sector organisations, and on the other with industry.

(see also: Public launch of Cloud-for Europe initiative )


Original article from net-cloud magazine (January 2014)

While private sector research tends to capitalise on immediate gains in terms of satisfying customer demand, EUfunded projects focus more on the challenges of particular importance over the longer term. This focus will give Europe a competitive advantage, and will help shape the cloud ecosystem.

Funding has already been earmarked for cloud research under the new EU research programme Horizon 2020 running from 2014 until 2020. For cloud and software related projects, the Commission will call for research proposals addressing specific themes identified by expert groups and a stakeholder consultation as the most pressing challenges, or providing the greatest opportunities.

In 2014/2015, some €120 million will be available for research on advanced cloud computing infrastructure and services as well as on tools and methods for software development. Supplementary investment of €5 million during this period will help to intensify cooperation with Brazil and Japan on cloud computing topics.

Stakeholders set priorities

The Research Expert Group on Cloud Computing for Europe produced three reports between 2010 and 2012 identifying the major gaps and challenges for future research and development in advanced cloud technologies.

The outcome of the 2012 reports provided a foundation for the research topics for Horizon 2020.

Working on this basis, the unit “Software & Services, Cloud” within the Directorate Net Futures of DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology launched a fully-fledged public consultation on the research and innovation challenges in the domain of cloud computing, software and services. There was a large response to this consultation which allowed us to identify the key research and innovation to be addressed within the Horizon 2020 work programme for 2014/2015:

Topic ICT 7 – 2014: Advanced Cloud Infrastructures and Services

Topic ICT 9 -2014: Tools and Methods for Software Development

Clouds on the horizon

Horizon 2020 is structured around three pillars focusing on excellent science, societal challenges and industrial leadership. Within the industrial leadership pillar of Horizon 2020, over €13 500 million will be channelled into ‘leadership in enabling and industrial technologies’ (LEITs). A significant proportion of this will support ICT projects, including those focusing on cloud computing.

Research carried under the LEIT heading will have the potential to underpin innovation across many industries and sectors, where it is possible for Europe to either build or maintain a technological lead over the rest of the world. It is obvious why the cloud fits in well here – the cloud has the potential to revolutionise the way software is delivered and data is managed, create huge savings for both companies and the private sector, increase efficiency and even reduce the environmental impact of computing.


Horizon 2020 in brief

  • €791 billion over 7 years
  • Focused on excellent science, industrial leadership and tackling societal challenges
  • Simplified procedures
  • More emphasis on innovation
  • Dedicated funding for SMEs
  • Investing in ideas for growth and jobs


More information

Research Expert Group on Cloud Computing reports:

Public consultation:


(Article from net-cloud future magazine (2013) - for complete magazine click here)