Innovation in the Cloud bridging Universities and Businesses / IN-CLOUD
Recent studies emphasise the potential cloud computing prides on in terms of boosting SMEs’ growth and encouraging entrepreneurial practices at all levels. Still, market trends indicate European SMEs are not making the best of the cost-effective solutions cloud computing has to offer. Smaller businesses can avoid large investments into hardware and software, entering the market more easily due to the cost-efficient, integrated cloud computing services. Universities themselves can greatly benefit from cloud computing, as its storage capacity and economic viability ensure more efficient research management techniques in all fields (business, medical, scientific etc.). Cloud computing is thus an optimal solution for the innovation-driven alliance between universities and companies.
While cloud computing arises a great interest in the corporate sector, several researches evidence a lack of professionals able to work in this field. According to the analyst firm IDC, in 2012 more than 1.7 million cloud computing jobs have remained unoccupied and the trend should lead to more than seven million cloud-related vacancies worldwide in 2015.
The European Commission has started several initiatives supporting the investment in entrepreneurship-boosting ICT and, more specifically, in September 2012 has adopted a strategy for “Unleashing the Potential of Cloud Computing in Europe”.
The European Cloud Computing Strategy includes three key actions; the most relevant is the creation of a “European Cloud Partnership” providing strategic options to turn cloud computing into an engine for sustainable economic growth, innovation and cost-efficient public and private services.
Objective and activities
The IN-CLOUD proposal intends to operate pursuing the objectives of the European Cloud Computing Strategy, with the general objective of – fostering a partnership between Higher Education and the corporate sector, in order to qualify new professionals able to boost the competitiveness and growth of European Companies and Universities, thanks to the advantages offered by the cloud computing technology.
This objective is reached by pursuing the specific objectives of:
- raising awareness among European Companies, Public Administrations and Universities regarding how cloud computing can boost economical growth and innovation,
- creating VET qualifications for professionals inside European Companies and Public Administrations,
- training them to introduce and manage cloud computing technologies and services inside their systems.
- A strategic partnership by building on the potential cloud computing holds in facilitating innovative practices for businesses and universities alike,
- Reports about the EU-wide state of the art of cloud computing services, in order to identify of the awareness levels regarding cloud computing potential and companies’ actual usage of such services,
- A set of didactic units, described in terms of Learning Outcomes,
- A set of VET Qualifications that can be awarded to the IN-CLOUD trainees in order to certify their acquired,
- Instruments to validate them and to accumulate and transfer Learning Outcomes
- Learning materials on practical applications of cloud computing,
- A collection of video interviews and showcases,
- A virtual bootcamp as a complementary output with respect to the previous ones.