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The European Union (EU) is a key investor in research and development (R&D) in Europe. Through its Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) running from 2007 to 2013 alone, it has invested €50 billion in R&D, with €9 billion allocated to information and communication technology (ICT). A number of corresponding projects have produced cutting-edge technologies and a significant percentage of these could already be commercialized.
To assess the results of its R&D investments, the European Commission has set up the Innovation Radar (IR)[i],[ii]. It focuses on identifying high-potential innovations in FP7, CIP (Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme) and H2020 (Horizon 2020, the EU Framework Programme running from 2014 to 2020) projects, as well as the key organizations in delivering these innovations to the market.
In its first report from July 8th, 2015[iii],[iv], the Innovation Radar analyzed 279 ICT FP7, e-infrastructures and CIP projects between May 2014 and January 2015. Out of those, 517 innovations were identified. An assessment methodology using a structured questionnaire and project reviews was used to score and rank the innovations based on a so-called Innovation Potential Indicator (IPI) between 0 and 100.
As a result, the CloudBroker Platform from the SCI-BUS project, with CloudBroker GmbH as the key innovator behind it, was identified as the number one innovation ranked by IPI, with an overall score of 84.17.
The CloudBroker Platform[v] offers a unified interface and thus a single point of connection to different commercial clouds and other high performance computing (HPC) infrastructures, such as Amazon Web Services[vi] and a range of academic or private cloud infrastructures. Recently, also an interface to the High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS)[vii] has been implemented. The CloudBroker Platform then enables users to provide their self-developed software and applications, in particular in the areas of modelling, simulation and analysis, to be exploited commercially.
Within the SCI-BUS FP7 project[viii], the CloudBroker Platform has been extended and enhanced to enable scientific portals across Europe to use commercial and private cloud infrastructures for their workflows and data processing. This technology is now also utilized in the CloudSME FP7 project[ix], part of EU Factories of the Future (FoF) initiative, where the CloudBroker Platform has been further developed to enable small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) in manufacturing and engineering to use a broad range of simulation software.
The organization that invented, manages and markets the CloudBroker Platform is a Swiss SME, CloudBroker GmbH. It has been and is one of the key technology providing partners in both the SCI-BUS and the CloudSME EU projects. CloudBroker is a former spin-off company of the ETH Zurich and located in Zurich.
CloudBroker GmbH: CloudBroker (http://www.cloudbroker.com) from Zurich, Switzerland, offers scientific and technical applications as a service in the cloud, for usage in fields such as biology, chemistry and engineering. Its flagship product, the CloudBroker Platform, provides on-demand and pay-per-use web access to application software on top of compute and storage resources in the cloud. CloudBroker also offers a web-shop framework for applications, the AppCenter, as well as consulting, training and support.
SCI-BUS: SCI-BUS (SCIentific gateway Based User Support, http://www.sci-bus.eu) has been a European project supported by the FP7 program under contract no. 283481 running from October 2011 until September 2014, as part of the EU research infrastructures capacities program. It developed gateway technology and community gateways to provide researchers seamless access to major computing, data and networking infrastructures and services, with focus on scientific workflows. SCI-BUS has been a collaboration of 15 consortium members from 10 countries, six subcontractors and seven associated partners, supporting various science gateways in different disciplines.
CloudSME: CloudSME (Cloud based Simulation platform for Manufacturing and Engineering,http://www.cloudsme.eu) is a European project supported by the FP7 program under contract no 608886 running from July 2013 until December 2015, as part of the EU Factories of the Future Public Private Partnership (PPP) and the I4MS (Information and Communication Technology Innovation for Manufacturing SMEs) initiative. It aims to establish a cloud simulation platform, which enables in particular small and medium-sized manufacturing and engineering companies to use state-of-the-art simulation technology as a service in the cloud, utilizing SaaS (Software as a Service), one-stop-shop and pay-per-use approaches. CloudSME is a collaboration of 29 partners from 8 countries, among them 24 SMEs.
Nicola Fantini and Dr. Wibke Sudholt
Phone: +41 44 515 21 70
[iv] De Prato, G., Nepelski, D. and Piroli, G. (2015). Innovation Radar: Identifying Innovations and Innovators with High Potential in ICT FP7, CIP & H2020 Projects. JRC Scientific and Policy Reports – EUR 27314 EN. Seville: JRC-IPTS. http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/bitstream/JRC96339/jrc96339.pdf
CloudBroker GmbH, Zurich, Switzerland
Nicola Fantini and Dr. Wibke Sudholt