Announced already at the meeting of the European Cloud Partnership (ECP) on 4th July 2013, the initiative Cloud-for-Europe (C4E) will be officially launched on 14 November 2013 in Berlin with the participation of European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes. C4E will help build trust in European cloud computing, define public-sector requirements and use-cases for cloud computing and boost the uptake of the cloud in the public sector. Twenty-three organisations from 11 countries have committed themselves to this goal.
C4E will help public sector organisations in Europe better understand what to look for in cloud services, what terms of reference to use for procurement of cloud products and services. Today, most public organisations have extensive experience with procuring non-cloud IT services; C4E will help procurers gain experience in innovative cloud procurement. Issues such as technical standards relevant to cloud, security standards they should pay attention to, performance requirements they should put forward, data protection aspects they should raise etc. will be addressed.
The C4E initiative will set up pre-commercial (research) procurement to define all those requirements. Moreover, this initiative allows the public sector to partner with a number of private sector contractors from IT industry; this will offer them feedback from various sources, along with the possibility to compare competing solutions.
In a preparatory phase, tender specifications will be developed, and subsequently a call for tender will be launched. At the end, practical usable specifications, requirements and prototypes will be available, shared and to be used for future PCP activities.
Cloud-for-Europe is part of the European Cloud Partnership, established under the European Cloud Computing Strategy. The last EU Council meeting in October 2013 made clear that, with the support of the ECP, the European Commission and the Member States "should continue to make every effort to put Europe at the forefront of cloud adoption".
The C4E partners have already started their work in June 2013. The upcoming public launch event will give insight in the current work so far and the road ahead.
C4E is funded by the EU under the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (FP7). The duration of the C4E initiative is 42 months.
More information at: http://www.cloudforeurope.eu/