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Europe’s Leading Public-Private Partnership for Cloud

The Helix Nebula Initiative is a partnership between industry, space and science to establish a dynamic ecosystem, benefiting from open cloud services for the seamless integration of science into a business environment. Today, the partnership counts over 40 public and private partners.

Helix Nebula Vision

Helix Nebula is a new, pioneering partnership between big science and big business in Europe that is charting the course towards the sustainable provision of cloud computing - the Science Cloud.

The partnership brings together leading IT providers and three of Europe’s leading research centres, CERN, EMBL and ESA in order to provide computing capacity and services that elastically meet big science’s growing demand for computing power.

Helix Nebula provides an unprecedented opportunity for the global cloud services industry to work closely on the Large Hadron Collider through the large-scale, international ATLAS experiment, as well as with the molecular biology and earth observation. The three flagship use cases will be used to validate the approach and to enable a cost-benefit analysis. Helix Nebula will lead these communities through a two year pilot-phase, during which procurement processes and governance issues for the public/private partnership will be addressed.

This game-changing strategy will boost scientific innovation and bring new discoveries through novel services and products. At the same time, Helix Nebula will ensure valuable scientific data is protected by a secure data layer that is interoperable across all member states. In addition, the pan-European partnership fits in with the Digital Agenda of the European Commission and its strategy for cloud computing on the continent. It will ensure that services comply with Europe’s stringent privacy and security regulations and satisfy the many requirements of policy makers, standards bodies, scientific and research communities, industrial suppliers and SMEs.

Initially based on the needs of European big-science, Helix Nebula ultimately paves the way for a Cloud Computing platform that offers a unique resource to governments, businesses and citizens.


Helix Nebula is a new, pioneering partnership between leading IT providers and four of Europe’s biggest research centres, CERN, EMBL, ESA and PIC, charting a course towards sustainable cloud services for the research communities - the Science Cloud.