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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.

DG-RTD Roundtable Discussion, 10 February 2015, Washington DC, USA

Robert Jenkins (CloudSigma) presented the Helix Nebula concept of federation of data and enabling technology, allowing the creation of easy interactions of intellectual property owners to derive within a market place environment (demand - supply). This interaction of IPs will obviously result in the creation of valuable information of scientific, societal and beneficial relevance, or even be attractive to be brought into a commercial context. The underlying business model is Information as a Service (InfoaaS). The important thing of this market place is that data providers remain in full control of the implementation of their data policy, while IP providers remain in control of the Terms and Conditions they define for the usage of their IP. The concurrent availability of data and IP however makes it interesting on the cloud hosting side to decide which data they are willing to host, increasing the work load of their assets. This federated approach allows specialisation around social statistics, earth observation or whatever else the wish. It could be considered a double opt-in.

This data federation could be a great way to increase exploitation of data and to put it at the forefront of new audiences, especially outside of the academic sphere. This can also be achieved whilst still working within the requirements of GEOSS regarding commercial offerings.

This is where the wider Helix Nebula framework is valuable and attractive for SMEs (like CloudSigma) to participate. "We are delivering a cross cloud platform with the networking integration (via GEANT) that can support the scientific sector and federation of these data sets reliably and effectively" concludes Robert Jenkins.


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.