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Consolidation and growth of the Cloud Computing research & innovation in Europe

Summary of H-CLOUD, a project that supported the consolidation and growth of the Cloud Computing research and innovation in Europe

In March 2023, the team behind the Horizon 2020 funded H-CLOUD project successfully wrapped up their work. H-CLOUD was set up to engage with and support the European cloud community to develop recommendations and strategies to guide the future of European cloud services and related market regulations.

New cloud technologies, services, and solutions are constantly emerging, furthering the creation of a single digital market in Europe. The market is fragmented, and there is relatively low adoption of cloud-based services. The project aimed to address this problem by establishing a shared vision for the future of cloud computing in Europe.

What are the key outcomes and How has EGI contributed?

Discover the Europe Cloud Computing Landscape

H-CLOUD’s White Paper on cloud computing in Europe analyses the landscape and outlines adoption challenges and future research and innovation opportunities. The H-CLOUD project involved the community in extensive consultations to ensure that the document reflected the needs and concerns of the community. EGI was highly involved in the development of the paper.

Briefing papers on the cloud offer and the potential of cloud federation

Besides the White Paper, EGI contributed to several other project areas. Seventeen briefing papers analysed the cloud offer from the supply side, as well as the challenges to cloud adoption faced by different economic sectors demand around Europe.

The experience of EGI in federated cloud environments translated into a document exploring “The Potential of Cloud Federation”

Proposed recommendations from the H-CLOUD strategy

For the consultation with the H-CLOUD Forum of stakeholders and advisors, EGI developed a structured presentation of nearly 300 recommendations, generated both by the H-CLOUD project and from relevant SRIA/SRIDA documents from recent years. The most relevant recommendations were jointly published and are easily accessible on the project website.

Other Outcomes

  • Another relevant outcome is the EGI document "Governance, Architectures and Business Models for Data and Cloud Federations: the EOSC and GAIA-X Case Studies"
  • The engagement of EGI in the project was not limited to the production of documentation but also included building and listening to the cloud community, with several events supporting the outreach, consultation and direct interviews with experts

Building on the H-CLOUD experience

H-CLOUD offered EGI more opportunities to assist the European Commission in shaping the future calls and the overall evolution of the Cloud in Europe. In that respect, EGI is privileged to influence technological trends and the EC perspective while also allowing us to adapt our own strategy to likely developments, including the growth of edge-computing and Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices. 

The project exposed the participants of EGI to several cloud-related projects and experiences in Europe and beyond, and EGI was invited to participate in several events - working groups like the Future Cloud Cluster group and the Gaia-X work packages. These opportunities resulted in better engagement with external projects and the IT industry.

H-CLOUD partners recognised EGI’s technological and organisational competencies and invited us to contribute to two project proposals: ICT-40 AGORA, and the successful HORIZON-CL4-2021-DATA-01-07 UNLOCK-CE.

Text prepared by Gianni Dalla Torre

Edited by Magdalena Brus & Mark Dietrich