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Pan-European partnership to build cloud platform

Paris, France: A consortium of leading IT providers and three of Europe’s biggest research centres (CERN, EMBL and ESA) formed a partnership to launch a European cloud computing platform, Helix Nebula – the Science Cloud. The platform aims to support the massive IT requirements of European scientists. During a two-year pilot phase, Helix Nebula will be deployed and tested based on three flagship projects.
First, the European Space Agency (ESA), in partnership with the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) in France, and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) will collaborate with the National Research Council (CNR) in Italy, to create an earth observation platform focusing on earthquake and volcano research. This undertaking is done in the framework of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), a voluntary partnership of governments and international organisations. Volker Liebig, ESA Director for earth observation programmes, said, “Helix Nebula- the Science Cloud is a partnership with the potential to support an utmost exploitation of ESA satellite data, as well as to bring other communities on board to better understand the geophysical phenomena of our planet.”
Second, CERN, the European laboratory for particle physics, will have access to more computing power to process data from the international ATLAS experiment at its Large Hadron Collider accelerator. “CERN’s computing capacity needs to keep-up with the enormous amount of data coming from the Large Hadron Collider and we see Helix Nebula- the Science Cloud as a great way of working with industry to meet this challenge,” said Frédéric Hemmer, head of CERN’s IT department.
Third, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) is setting up a new service to simplify the analysis of large genomes, such as those from mammals, allowing a deeper insight into evolution and biodiversity across a range of organisms.
This pan-European partnership across academia and industry is in line with the Digital Agenda of the European Commission and will foster innovation for science and create new commercial markets.
Source: ESA