Brussels, 19 November 2012
Digital Agenda: Tech CEOs and leaders kickstart new EU cloud computing board
The Steering Board of the new European Cloud Partnership (ECP) met for the first time in Brussels today, kicking-off a process where public authorities and industry work together to help building the EU Digital Single Market for cloud computing pursuant to the European Cloud Computing Strategy. Specifically, the ECP aims at leveraging the public sector's buying power to shape the growing and maturing market for cloud computing services. Chaired by Toomas Hendrik Ilves, President of Estonia, the board brings together tech Chief Executive Officers and government representatives with responsibility for IT procurement. The board will deliver strategic advice to Vice President Kroes (see annex for full list of members).
European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes said: "I need this top-level input so that all of Europe can see the full benefits of cloud computing, and quickly. President Ilves and all Board members are going to give no-nonsense, action-oriented advice to get the European Cloud Partnership moving."
Under the guidance of its Steering Board, the ECP will bring together public authorities and industry consortia to implement pre-commercial procurement actions for public sector cloud computing. The ECP will develop common cloud computing procurement requirements for use by Member States and public authorities throughout the EU.
Today the Steering Board discussed and decided on its 2013-2014 objectives (see its public statement). Most importantly, the board will work to raise public awareness and map out practical solutions to barriers to cloud computing adoption in the public sector whilst dispelling imaginary ones. It aims at making cloud readiness and adoption a political priority. In addition, the board has decided to support the Commission's work on actions related to cloud computing standards and certification schemes; and to identify cross-border and interoperable cloud pilot projects to be set in motion by 2014 in mission-critical areas of business and public life, such as eID, smart cities, eHealth, eEducation, research and digital content services, building on existing large scale pilots.
The main mission of the Steering Board is to provide strategic advice to the ECP and orientations for possible new ECP initiatives. In particular this could comprise reviewing and advising on implementation issues and providing recommendations for future implementation, uptake and research actions. Looking beyond the ECP, the board may also express views and recommendations on the range of other policies and actions put forward in the Cloud Computing Strategy.
The board, the Chairperson and members of the Steering Board were appointed by Vice-President Kroes. It will meet two or three times per year and may consult with industrial, academic and governmental bodies and experts.
On the implementation level, an initial budget of €10 million has already been earmarked for a pre-commercial procurement project in the ICT theme of the 7th Framework Programme for Research (FP7). The relevant call for proposals was published on 9 July.
FP7 call for proposals (please refer to page 109 of the document)
Hash Tag: #cloudstrategy
Neelie Kroes website
Follow Neelie on Twitter
Annex: Members of the European Cloud Partnership Steering Board