Microsoft has announced a partnership with several European research centres and institutes for research and development of client and cloud technology.
The announcement came at the Open Grid Forum from Dan Reed, corporate vice president of the eXtreme Computing Group and Technology Strategy & Policy at Microsoft.
Reed detailed a partnership with three European research facilities, the pan-European Virtual Multidisciplinary EnviroNments USing Cloud Infrastructurers (VENUS-C), the France-based National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control (INRIA), and UK-based University of Nottingham Horizon Institutue.
These three centres were chosen for their continuing efforts in advancing cloud computing research. Microsoft is already a partner in the VENUS-C consortium, which is co-funded by the European Commission, and this organisation is currently developing and deploying a cloud computing research service throughout Europe for the science community. Microsoft will contribute Windows Azure data, compute capability, and several teams of researchers.
INRIA and the University of Nottingham have also been chosen for their cloud initiatives, including the latter’s Horizon project. Both institutes will receive three years of free Windows Azure licensing and the aid of Microsoft researchers.
The move is part of a global cloud research initiative Microsoft launched earlier this year, when the company announced partnerships with the US-based National Science Foundation (NSF) and Japan-based National Institute of Informatics (NII). Microsoft’s a big fan of cloud computing.
It’s also an attempt from Redmond to support the European Union’s goals of pushing smart, sustainable and inclusive technological growth by the year 2020, along with strengthening the European Research Area and aiding the recently-announced Innovation Union in Europe.
“Cloud computing can transform how research is conducted, allowing scientists around the world to explore and share rich, diverse multidisciplinary data sets with their own familiar desktop tools,” said Reed. “Through these grants and this global initiative, we seek to make simple yet powerful tools available that any researcher can use, empowering the research community broadly in new ways. Our goal is ultimately to accelerate global scientific exploration, discovery and results.”