The EU has opened a public consultation to help define future research priorities in the areas of Cloud Computing and Software (including Open Source). Any and all stakeholders are invited to submit their views by 10 October 2014.
The consultation – which is being led by the body that manages the digital agenda of the EU, DG Connect – feeds into the overall EU Cloud Computing strategy of "unleashing the potential of Cloud Computing in Europe".
The EU is heavily pushing investment, innovation and regulation in relation to Cloud Computing, having previously stated that its strategy has the end goal of 2.5 million new jobs as well as an annual EU GDP boost of €160 billion by 2020. The strategy has three key actions: 1) cutting through what the EU describes as the "jungle" of technical standards, 2) developing safe and fair contract terms and conditions, and 3) establishing a European Cloud Partnership.
A post-consultation Workshop, where responses to the consultation will be discussed, will be held in Brussels in early November this year. DG Connect states that one of the goals of the Workshop is to bring together new and existing stakeholders, with the consultation announcement specifically mentioning stakeholders from "innovative technological SMEs" and the public sector.
DG Connect is aiming to publish the first Work Programme 2016-17 Call for Proposals by the end of 2015, with the Work Programme expected to focus on "infrastructures, services, technologies and innovation ripe for commercial deployment". DG Connect states that it is likely that new Cloud Computing projects, which will run for approximately two to three years each, will begin to launch before the end of 2016.