Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development

MEDIA - Press office ENEA
infrastructures in cloud

Innovation: ENEA part of 409 million euro European project IPCEI-CIS on cloud services and infrastructures

The European Commission approved a Common Project of European interest (IPCEI) dedicated to the Cloud, opening the way to innovation throughout Europe. The IPCEI-CIS (Next Generation Cloud Infrastructure and Services) project, involving seven member States (France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Holland, Poland and Spain), will be funded with 1.2 billion euro state aid, aimed at supporting 19 projects by European companies. The projects will catalyze further private investments and accelerate the establishment of a new and advanced economy based on digital technologies, particularly data and communication networks.

Italy participates in this project with five companies - TIM, Fincantieri, Engineering Ingegneria Informatica, Tiscali Italia and Reply - and 2 research centers (Enea and Bruno Kessler Foundation). Italy will allocate 409 million to companies, leading to further 450 million domestic investments.

ENEA will play a key role through the Datacleen five-year project (Data Cloud for Energy and the Environment) whose goal is to create a highly scalable and reliable cloud infrastructure, based on HPC high-performance calculation technologies, to speed up the energy transition e promote industrial innovation. By involving five ENEA calculation centers across Italy  and using ENEA data, Datacleen will focus on crucial applications like management of critical infrastructures, smart cities, energy materials, fluid dynamics and cultural heritage.

The IPCEI-CIS aims at creating an efficient "cloud-edge continuum" across Europe, with the purpose of stimulating the development of new technologies capable of facilitating the exchange and processing of huge amounts of data in decentralized systems in real time. To this aim, it will be crucial to develop energy efficent, high performance, automated, safe and connected in fast networks cloud and Edge services.

A significant part of the project will be dedicated to the first cloud applications on an industrial scale. The IPCEI-CIS, in addition to strengthening the digital sovereignty of Italy and Europe, aims to achieve this objective through the use of open source solutions, guaranteeing greater IT security and resilience and ensuring interoperability and data portability to avoid possible lock-in effects. Since the project aims to be fully compatible with the services and standards of Gaia-X, it will be essential to create a "continuum cloud-edge multi-provider".

The actions of the IPCEI CIS are divided in four workstreams (WS). The WS1 will deal with the design, development and construction of cloud and edge infrastructures, differentiated in terms of sustainability, safety, automation and opening from the central data centers to the Near/Far Edge up to the on Premise/On Device Edge. In WS2, research and development of key components for the next generation of unified and integrated operating systems will be priority, guaranteeing the management and orchestration of the distributed multi-provider continuum. The WS3 will focus on the definition and creation of services for data management and artificial intelligence on which to create industrial and digital twin applications for sectors like energy, the environment, agriculture, cultural heritage and mobility, fully exploiting the cloud potential (WS4) .

The approval of the IPCEI-CIS represents a significant step towards the creation of an open, sustainable and resilient digital ecosystem, guaranteeing the digital sovereignty of Europe and Italy in the context of the rapid evolution of cloud and big data technologies. This ambitious project will shape Europe's digital future, accelerating the digital and energy transition.