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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.

European science cloud on the horizon

Europe’s researchers have access to super-fast networks, common data storage facilities, and shared computing resources. The challenge now is to link them all together into a single science cloud.

That’s why Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, has announced that the EU will fund research into the best way to set up a unified European open science cloud.

‘We are preparing a call for a European science cloud project in order to identify the possibility of creating a cloud for our scientists,’ he told a conference in June called A New Start for Europe, Opening up to an ERA of Innovation.

‘This will mean setting standards for the management, interoperability and quality of scientific data. I would like to see progress on this in the next 12 months.’

It’s all part of a transformation that is happening in research, known as open science. Driven by the prevalence of high-speed broadband and sophisticated software that allows researchers to collaborate, there is a growing demand to open up access to research and encourage participation from researchers across different fields, and even from interested members of the public.

It comes after research ministers from European Member States underlined the need for a European open science cloud and called for a European open science strategy during a meeting of the EU’s Competitiveness Council on 28 and 29 May.

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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.