Europe is the largest producer of scientific data in the world, but insufficient and fragmented infrastructure means this 'big data' is not being exploited to its full potential. By bolstering and interconnecting existing research infrastructure, the Commission plans to create a new European Open Science Cloud that will offer Europe's 1.7 million researchers and 70 million science and technology professionals a virtual environment to store, share and re-use their data across disciplines and borders. This will be underpinned by the European Data Infrastructure, deploying the high-bandwidth networks, large scale storage facilities and super-computer capacity necessary to effectively access and process large datasets stored in the cloud. The European Cloud Initiative will make it easier for researchers and innovators to access and re-use data, and will reduce the cost of data storage and high-performance analysis. This initiative is part of a package of measures to strengthen Europe's position in data-driven innovation, to improve competitiveness and cohesion and to help create a Digital Single Market in Europe (press release). The public and private investment needed to implement the European Cloud Initiative is estimated at €6.7 billion. The Commission estimates that, overall, €2 billion in Horizon 2020 funding will be allocated to the European Cloud initiative. The estimation of the required additional public and private investment is €4.7 billion in the period of 5 years.
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