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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.

Past Events

THINK Cloud Vendors is a one day conference on Tuesday 9th December 2014, that examines the opportunities on offer to those participating in the G-Cloud framework, highlighting the challenges faced and promoting effective strategies for the supplier community when selling cloud services to the Public Sector. Delegates will benefit from the actual experiences of peer organisations that already successfully use the G-Cloud framework; they will hear from public sector buyers about what they look for in potential suppliers and from the government representatives behind the framework on how to use it to its full potential.

by Dr. Johannes Watzl, Daniel Hagemeier, Deutsche Börse Cloud Exchange AG. CERN webcast:

Under Digital Agenda, the European Commission commits itself through Action 23 to provide guidance on the link between ICT Standardisation and Public Procurement in order to help public authorities use standards to promote efficiency and reduce lock-in. 

As a matter of fact, using ICT open standards results in:
- Higher savings when procuring ICT
- An increased level of competition among suppliers
- Being compliant with EU Public Procurement directives

On the 2nd and the 3rd of December 2014, the Public Sector World Cloud Forum event, the first event focusing on Public Sector in the EMEA Region, took place in London. As the requirements & limitations of the public sector are very different from those of enterprises, the Public Sector Cloud World Forum aimed to bring together senior government IT officials.

The Helix Nebula Initiative 5th General Assembly "Enabling a Dynamic Cloud Ecosystem" will be held on 26-27 November 2014 at ESA/ESRIN, Frascati, Italy. The first day of the event will focus on enabling the dynamic creation of value chains under the Helix Nebula initiative. The second day will be focused on the procurement of cloud services in Europe bringing together the members of the PICSE initiative (

Europe has an enormous and overlooked opportunity to spur innovation using public procurement.

Public procurement, that accounts for some 19% of GDP in the European Union, represents an enormous potential market for innovative products and services, offering a powerful leverage for the modernization of public sector and for the competitiveness and growth of the European industry.
Moreover, public procurement of R&D services and innovative products and services is vital for improving the quality and efficiency of public services at a time of budget constraints.

On 9 October 2014, in Florence, Italy, Dirk van Rooy, Head of Sector, European Cloud Partnership, DG CONNECT E2 Software & Services, Cloud, presented the ICT 8 – 2015 call: "Boosting public sector productivity and innovation through cloud computing services". The presentation has been followed by an overall overview of the PICSE initiative.

CERN was invited to the European Research e-Infrastructures and Innovation Clusters to demonstrate how Helix Nebula supports SMEs.

CERN highlighted the need for commercial service providers, which was acknowledged and it was noted that public service providers should not try to offer the same services as commercial providers. Public services providers can have a role earlier in the innovation cycle, such as to support prototyping activities, but there should be a smooth transition to commercial providers once the applications (or new services) are commercialised. Clearly ‘human’ services (especially training and consultancy) were seen as important by the innovation clusters and SMEs present.

At the end of September 2014, Atos presented the Helix Nebula Marketplace to an audience composed of scientists and private sector R&D specialists who build models and run simulations on Supercomputers (HPC), HNX plans are to offer HPC as a Service in the future. This was the audience of the ISC Cloud conference, held this year in Heidelberg, Germany.

On Friday 26 September 2014, the Earth Observation sector of the Directorate General for Research and Innovation, European Commission organised a dedicated workshop on engaging the European private sector in GEOSS. The workshop was held in Brussels on 26 September 2014 and attracted some 100 participants of which about 70 represented private companies (mainly value-adding, but also some end-users and NGOs). Also present were representatives of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) European Caucus, pan-European and international organisations, and other services of the European Commission.