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12 December 2019

New case study on award winning pre-commercial procurement of innovative open cloud services

Large scale scientific projects in fields like genome analysis, astrophysics, life science and photon science rely on global collaboration. This requires huge amounts of data storage and analysis tools which meet the specific needs of the science and research community.

Such storage and analysis tools are not yet commercially available, so a group of ten public research organisations from 7 Euroepan countries – headed by CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research - joined forces in a Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) project, which aimed to design a cloud-based system specifically for science and research.

A PCP allows public organisations to communicate their needs in detail with the market, and buy research & development services which result in a new product or service - which the organisation can then decide to buy and deploy, or not.

After several phases, two consortia (T-Systems and RHEA) were selected to deploy platforms offering each 10,000 CPU cores, 1 petabyte of storage and 40Gbps network connectivity, and the consortium of end-users are now actively using the Helix Nebula Science Cloud (HNSciCloud). This hybrid cloud platform links together commercial cloud service providers and publicly funded research organisations’ in-house IT resources to provide innovative solutions supporting data intensive science.

This PCP was cofounded by the European Commission’s H2020 Framework Programme via the Helix Nebula Science Cloud project. In recognition of its outstanding use of PCP, CERN was also awarded the 2019 Procura+ Outstanding Innovation Procurement in ICT Award, which is supported by the EU-funded Procure2Innovate project.

You can read the full case study here.