The results are in! After extensive deliberation and oversight, the EOSC Future project is ready to announce the outcomes of its third procurement call: European Research e-Infrastructures – Distribution of Commercial Cloud Services 2.0 mini-competition. Read more to discover the awardees and their solutions for making commercial services more accessible to R&E communities in the EU via the EOSC Marketplace!
A proven funding mechanism: opportunities for European research infrastructures and commercial cloud services through EOSC
In June 2023 the EOSC Future project published its EUR 1.2 million (+VAT) mini-competition 2.0 call as the final part of a EUR 4.8 million adoption funding programme supported by the EU, aimed at bridging the gap between commercial service providers and researchers through the EOSC ecosystem. Based on the success of the first EOSC Future funding call, we applied the same mechanism to the final call. The mini-competition was open to OCRE cloud service providers teaming up with digital service aggregators (e.g. non-profit entities, NRENs, RIs and e-Infrastructures, HPC centres, etc.) in the same region. Applications were evaluated on their ability to craft an action plan for a distribution mechanism of state-of-the-art digital services, to be made available and distributed through EOSC in an innovative, sustainable and cost-effective way.
Two projects, two solutions for digital service uptake
After the careful review of twelve compelling proposals, the following two proposals have been selected. Here are their profiles, and the solutions they will bring to EOSC users across all research domains:
1. D4Science – EU virtual research environments on cloud (Italy), from TI-Sparkle and Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)
The National Research Council (CNR) is the largest public research institution in Italy, the only one under the Research Ministry performing multidisciplinary activities. D4Science aggregates “science domain agnostic” service providers, as well as science community-specific ones, to build a unifying space where the aggregated resources can be exploited via Virtual Research Environments and their services – Core services supporting VRE management, resource management, authentication, and authorization; Data space management services; Data analytics services; Collaborative services.
The major advantage for researchers of working with a VRE is that they find in the front-end a pre-configured environment with the research tools they need for their research (i.e., RStudio) and these tools run on IT resources (VMs, CPUs), scientific software packages and settings allocated by D4Science to the specific VRE according to the needs of the researcher’s group/community.
During the project Sparkle will also present cloud-native solutions from Google such as serverless databases with integrated analytics that are not available in the existing portfolio of D4Science to evaluate if new EOSC services can be packaged around these solutions.
The project expects to leverage the large existing research communities already served by D4Science to quickly spread the promotion of the cloud-based services in several countries and institutions and make this project sustainable by having hundreds and potentially thousands of users adopting the services. The project will focus on these three communities (including global collaboration) – The marine science community; The social sciences and the humanities communities; The Open Research community.
2. Quantum compute services on cloud (Ireland), by Rackspace and the Munster Technological University
Quantum computing is a disruptive technology that harnesses the laws of quantum mechanics to solve problems outside the scope of our current classical computers. Quantum computers will be a core component of future networks, offering capabilities in cryptography, networking, data analysis and optimization.
AWS provides access to multiple varieties of quantum computing hardware including the Gate-based superconducting processors, Gate-based ion-trap processors and Neutral atom-based quantum processors. Researchers can run experiments on a variety of quantum hardware, comparing and contrasting their results. This would not be possible without cloud-based quantum computing access, which significantly strengthens the results of experiments and proof of concepts.
The Munster Technological University (MTU) will manage and oversee the deployment of the TRE platform with the objective of enabling research organisations to rapidly create multiple innovative and secure environments in which scientists from collaborating research centres can perform their analysis, while providing governance and compliance respecting jurisdictions, including an extra focus on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Congratulations to these two projects, the EOSC Future project will continue to follow and report on their progress.
This was the third and final procurement call on behalf of the EOSC Future project!
For more about how EOSC Future is helping digital aggregators and cloud providers enhance and expand the service offer via the European Open Science Cloud, visit: https://eoscfuture.eu/funding-opportunities-commercial-services/