Europe has taken a vital step in its efforts to become a major player in cloud computing. The announcement of the Cloud-for-Europe (C4E) platform in July is a tangible outcome of the nascent European Cloud Partnership. It will bring private and public organisations together under one ‘virtual’ roof to thrash out a strategy for boosting the take-up of cloud computing in Europe.
On 4 July 2013, the Cloud-for-Europe initiative was formally announced in Tallinn, Estonia, in the presence of its major stakeholders, as well as President Toomas Hendrik Ilves of Estonia and Vice-president Neelie Kroes of the European Commission.
Cloud-for-Europe is a cloud-computing initiative driven by committed public-sector organisations from Member States and Associated Countries. It will seek clarity on public-sector requirements and use-cases for cloud computing.
Supported by stakeholders from all sectors, the main objectives of C4E are to remove the obstacles holding back cloud adoption and to identify the requirements from different public organisations beyond national borders. The focus will be on building trust in European cloud computing, in particular by applying ‘pre-commercial procurement’ (PCP) as an instrument for industry innovation. Cloud-for-Europe will also establish suitable contractual terms and conditions for future cloud procurements. The published results of the work and lessons learnt will inform developments in the PCP instrument.
According to a statement by Mrs Kroes, “If we seize the opportunity, cloud computing could give the European economy a boost worth up to € 250 billion a year. And the benefits for the public sector are particularly promising – offering citizens services that are better, more integrated and more effective, at less cost. So I particularly welcome the Cloud-for-Europe initiative, which can boost the uptake of the cloud in the public sector.”
The three-and-a-half-year project is funded by the European Commission under its Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (FP7) and brings together 24 partners, including the IT and telecom industry and SMEs from 11 countries
This multi-stakeholder approach is essential to shaping a European cloud-computing market which stands to benefit European users, suppliers and citizens. As such, C4E is the flagship European cloud implementation action and a major stepping-stone towards a Digital Single Market for IT services in the cloud.
The official launch conference for Cloud-for-Europe is scheduled to take place on November 14 and 15 in Berlin, Germany. Stakeholders who are interested in attending the conference and helping to shape the future of cloud computing in Europe are welcome to contact the Cloud-for-Europe team.
Press Release – Cloud-for-Europe kicks off