The EU has launched a mega “science cloud
”, intended to better exploit the continent's academic research via big data.
The initiative aims to overhaul current “insufficient and fragmented infrastructure” and offer the EU's 1.7 million researchers and 70 million science and technology professionals "a virtual environment to store, share and re-use their data across disciplines and borders.”
The €6.7bn (£5.3bn) project is initially being funded through the Horizon 2020 budget but an additional €4.7bn will be required from public and private investment over the next five years. Initially limited to Europe's scientific community, the cloud will ultimately be expanded to the public sector and to industry. It will mean the deployment of “high-bandwidth networks, large scale storage facilities and super-computer capacity necessary to effectively access and process large datasets stored in the cloud.”
The initiative is part of a package of measures launched earlier this week under the EU's Digital Single Market strategy which also includes 5G communication networks and cybersecurity.
"With this initiative, our ambition is to be in the global top-three in high performance computing by 2020,” said Günther Oettinger, EU commissioner for the digital economy and society.
"We will also be looking into the potential of quantum technologies which hold the promise to solve computational problems beyond current supercomputers."