Tuesday, January 11, 2011

On the Cloud – VENUS-C Open Call for new Pilots

VENUS-C (Virtual Multidisciplinary EnviroNments USing Cloud Infrastructures) is a pioneering project for the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme that aims to develop, test and deploy an industry-quality Cloud computing service to empower researchers through the easy deployment of end-user services. It is underpinned by Windows Azure and its European data centres, the Engineering data centre and two European High Performance Computing centres: The Royal Institute of Technology (KTH, Sweden) and the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC, Spain). Current user scenarios include bioinformatics, systems biology, drug discovery, civil engineering, civil protection and emergencies, and data for science.

Today marks the launch of VENUS-C Open Call which will fund between 10 and 20 new pilots with applications suited to the Cloud. The Call is open to European public and private research organisations involved in Research and Technology Development (RTD) from the 27 Member States and the 13 Associated Countries. The Open Call targets a spectrum of application areas, spanning the Arts & Humanities, Engineering, Health & Life Sciences, Economics and Financial Services, Natural Sciences, as well as Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Physics with application characteristics such as dynamic scaling requirements, peak demands and ubiquitous availability. Specifically VENUS-C aims to bring on board research groups that have operational and scientifically productive application software already running on platforms, whether commodity clusters, HPC clusters, grids or clouds.

VENUS-C will work closely with the new pilots to determine what features and capabilities of Cloud computing environments are needed to support the type of computing exemplified by the selected pilots, and to validate the VENUS-C infrastructure. Pilots will have access to the compute and storage resources of VENUS-C providers and seed funds to catalyse take-off. A total of €400,000 will be equally divided among successful candidates. VENUS-C will also provide technical support to address specific needs and enable users through innovative web-based and physical training. The pilot prototypes will have access to the VENUS-C infrastructure from July 2011 until May 2012 with a one-year extension to the Azure and other platforms until May 2013. Visibility will be ensured through focused VENUS-C dissemination activities. Successful candidates will join VENUS-C as subcontractors. The work developed during the scheme will remain part of the proposer’s Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).

Important Dates

* Open Call Launch: Tuesday 11 January 2011
* Open Call closes: Monday 11 April 2011.
* Evaluation notification: Monday 2 May 2011.

The Open Call documentation contains the Application Form and details on the procedures, expectations and evaluation, the full list of scientific areas, eligible countries, and an FAQ. Open Call Proposals can be submitted on line or via email after downloading and completing the Application Form. VENUS-C is committed to selecting the best possible pilots. Please feel free to contact the team via mail for any assistance.

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