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The Open Clouds for Research Environments project (OCRE), aims to accelerate cloud adoption in the European research community, by bringing together cloud providers, Earth Observation (EO) organisations and the research and education community, through ready-to-use service agreements and €9.5 million in adoption funding.

Cloud-based services offer the European research community a wealth of powerful tools, but for many researchers, these are currently out of reach, with suitable services difficult to find and select.

OCRE, which launched in January 2019, will address this by running a pan-European tender and establishing framework agreements with cloud service providers that meet the specific requirements of the research community, saving institutions the time-consuming and complex process of doing this themselves.

€9.5 million in adoption funding available for European research community

Over 10,000 research and education institutions will be able to directly consume these offerings, with ready-to-use agreements via the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) service catalogue. Furthermore, OCRE will make €9.5 million in service credits available to research institutions, via adoption funding from the European Commission.

A consortium of competences

The OCRE project – an important element in the success of EOSC – receives funding from the European Commission and is a consortium of the GÉANT Association (coordinator), CERN, RHEA and Trust-IT.

  • GÉANT interconnects Europe’s National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) to reach thousands of research and education institutions, enabling OCRE to offer service providers a direct delivery route.
  • CERN, the European laboratory for particle physics will establish a number of buyer groups, gathering organisations from different research disciplines to consume the results of OCRE.
  • RHEA is a security and space system engineering company with broad EO expertise which will support the EO service procurement. Through its subsidiary, SixSq, RHEA will provide the technical platform to manage and track the cloud uptake.
  • Trust-IT fosters information exchange between a wide range of stakeholders and will lead the outreach and promotion of OCRE and the available portfolio.

OCRE timeline

In the first half of 2019, OCRE will gather requirements from the research community and input from cloud providers. The pan-European tender is expected to begin in October 2019, with services expected to be available for usage in early 2020. The tender will encompass:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) cloud offerings.
  • Earth Observation services, which leverage European Union DIAS (Data and Information Access Services) platforms, where the Copernicus sentinel data is stored.

Selected providers will become an integral part of the EOSC service catalogue and be connected to the GÉANT data network and the community’s single sign-on (SSO) systems, bringing them into the heart of this community’s ICT ecosystem.

Want to know more about what OCRE can do for you?

  • Register now to join the inaugural webinar on 15 February 2019, 11AM CET or on 1 March 2019 to learn how commercial service providers can offer their services under OCRE, and how the research community can benefit from the adoption funding
  • Suppliers of cloud or Earth Observation services are also invited to register for the OCRE-Suppliers Face-to-Face session, taking place on March 12, from 12:30 – to 15:00 CET, in Utrecht, The Netherlands. The OCRE team will present the delivery approach and tender and suppliers are invited to give input.

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