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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.

D9.2 Strategic Plan for a Scientific Cloud Computing Infrastructure for Europe: Three years on.

This document highlights the results achieved by the Helix Nebula consortium in the last two years, in retrospect against the initial goals outlined in the strategy published in 2011. It also considers the policy developments in Europe - including the key actions targeted by the European Cloud Computing Strategy in alignment with the long term objectives of the Digital Agenda for Europe - to identify areas requiring further effort and focus in the next three years.

The outcome of the pilot phase focused on the deployment of the flagships use cases, as well as the requirements that emerged and the solutions adopted and tested during the project, are summarized in this paper.

An outlook on the current policy framework for cloud computing in Europe is presented, as well as an overview on Helix Nebula’s positioning in light of the most recent strategy documents and reports released by the European Commission, also based on the work of the European Cloud Partnership.

The future Helix Nebula strategy builds on the results of the deployments carried out during the pilot phase, the achievements in areas such as interoperability with existing pan-European e-Infrastructures, the adoption of sustainable and evolutional business models and the identification of possible lightweight multi-stakeholder governance models. The strategy also takes into account the need for definition of good and best practices for procurement of cloud services in Europe especially within public sector and research institutions.

The successes of the work towards the initial objectives have led a number of Helix Nebula partners to invest in the launching of the Helix Nebula Marketplace (HNX) in May 2014.

Prospects and plans for initial functioning of this marketplace and possible future developments have been included in this paper.

The Helix Nebula consortium’s enthusiasm and motivation have facilitated the shift from a ‘cloud active’ to ‘a cloud productive’ phase to seize new opportunities and challenges. The partnership continues its commitment to offer an open, secure and trusted Cloud Computing Infrastructure for European science, businesses and society, and to become a leader in a highly competitive global market.


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.