Building a Resilient & Sustainable Future for Earth

Accelerating the cloud adoption via the Open Cloud for Research Environment (OCRE) project. OCRE is hosting the 3rd Requirements Gathering Workshop on May 14th, 2019.

The Horizon 2020 project will organize a session titled “Free Commercial EO Services for European Research: Requirements Gathering” at the Living Planet Symposium held in Metallica Agora in Milan, Italy.

The sessions will allow scientists to understand how to take advantage of OCRE cloud vouchers. Scientists will present their latest findings on Earth’s environment and climate derived from satellite data, and focus on Earth observation’s role in building a sustainable and resilient future society.

RHEA Group’s Alessandro Scremin, Data Hub Exploitation Service System Engineer and Antonio Romeo, Exploitation Platform Engineer, will present on behalf of RHEA Group.

For more information on this event, visit the OCRE page.

Open Cloud

OCRE - Open Clouds for Research Environments

The OCRE project is a Horizon 2020 project funded by the European Union. It was launched in January 2019 and will accelerate cloud adoption in the European research community and education, by bringing together cloud providers, Earth Observation (EO) organisations and the European research and education community, through ready-to-use service agreements

Cloud and EO-based services offer the European Research community a wealth of powerful tools, but for many researchers, these are currently out of reach, with suitable services difficult to find and select.

OCRE will address this by running a pan-European tender and establishing framework agreements with cloud service providers that meet the specific requirements of the research community, saving institutions the time-consuming and complex process of doing this themselves.

Over 10,000 institutions will be able to directly consume these offerings with ready-to-use agreements via the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) service catalogue.

Consortium Composition

The OCRE project - an important element to the success of the EOSC - is a consortium composed of the GÉANT Association (coordinator), CERN, RHEA and Trust-IT.

  • GÉANT interconnects Europe’s National Research and Education Networks (NRENs) to reach thousands of research and education institutions, enabling OCRE to offer service providers a direct delivery route.
  • CERN, the European laboratory for particle physics will establish a number of buyer groups, gathering organisations from different research disciplines to consume the results of OCRE.
  • RHEA will support the EO service procurement. Through SixSq, RHEA will provide the technical platform to manage and track the cloud uptake. 
  • Trust-IT fosters information exchange between a wide range of stakeholders and will lead the outreach and promotion of OCRE and the available portfolio. EARSC and Evenflow participate to the project as sub-contractors of Trust-IT.

OCRE Timeline

In the first half of 2019, OCRE will gather requirements from the research community and input from cloud providers. The pan-European tender is expected to begin in October 2019, with services expected to be available for usage in early 2020. The tender will encompass:

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) cloud offerings.
  • Earth Observation services, which leverage European Union DIAS (Data and Information Access Services) platforms, where the Copernicus sentinel data is stored.

Selected providers will become an integral part of the EOSC service catalogue and will connect to the GÉANT data network and the community's single sign-on (SSO) systems, bringing them into the heart of this community's ICT ecosystem.

The European Commission equally allocate funds between Cloud Commodity Services and EO services. These funds are available up to the end of the project in December 2021. The Commission funds are distributed to individual researchers selected by partner institutions, research institutions and buyer groups, which will benefit from the co-funding. To date, EURODOC, Marie Curie Institute and the EOSC-Hub project have been selected to identify as the first batch of users to benefit from part of these funds in 2019.

RHEA Group’s Role

As the lead of task gathering user requirements for Earth Observation, RHEA Group will:

  • Organize webinars and user requirement workshops.
  • Support the European Association of Remote Sensing Companies (EARSC) in promoting the project and gathering feedback from EO service providers.
  • Support GÉANT by preparing and leading tenders for EO service procurements.
  • Provide a technical business platform developed by SixSQ for the provision and monitoring of vouchers. The platform will allow users to manage the lifecycle of vouchers (creation, assignment, consumption, expiration) and to create usage reports.

Following the tenders, RHEA Group will continue to promote OCRE’s EO services and to support GÉANT in user relations with EO service providers. The technical business platform will be operational from Q1 2020 up to the end of the project in December 2021.

Interested in catching up on the latest webinar? Watch it here.