Helix Nebula Project

Introduction to the Helix Nebula Project

Helix Nebula is a new, pioneering partnership between big science and big business in Europe that charts the course towards the sustainable provision of cloud computing – the Science Cloud.


The partnership brought together leading IT providers and three of Europe’s leading research centres, CERN, EMBL and ESA in order to provide computing capacity and services that elastically meet big science’s growing demand for computing power.

This game-changing strategy helped to boost scientific innovation and bring new discoveries through novel services and products. In addition, the pan-European partnership was aligned with the Digital Agenda of the European Commission and its strategy for cloud computing on the continent.

Funding Scheme

Helix Nebula is an EU FP7 project.


The Helix Nebula project ran from June 2012 to May 2014.

Consortium Composition

For information about the Helix Nebula Project partners, click here.

Helix Nebula Project Deliverables

The HELIX NEBULA Project was a preliminary step towards a European cloud-based scientific e-infrastructure: HELIX NEBULA – the Science Cloud. The HELIX NEBULA Project led and coordinated these communities of interest through a two year pilot-phase during which procurement processes and governance issues for a framework of public/private partnership was appraised. Three flagship use cases were used to enable a cost-benefit analysis to be undertaken and the next stage of the Science Cloud Strategic Plan developed and approved.

For more information about the Helix Nebula deliverables, click here.

Cloud Security Alliance Role in Helix Nebula Project

CSA led the dissemination activities in Helix Nebula (HN), by providing a communication manager to develop and execute HN’s communication and dissemination strategy with the support and contribution of all the other consortium members. CSA leveraged its global network and planned events such as CSA EMEA Congress, CSA Europe Summit at RSA, SecureCloud, Summer Schools and workshops. CSA also contributed to the definition of the security requirements and policies of HN by providing two information security experts.

Helix Nebula Project News

The law and economics of EU innovation procurement: lecture organized by the Corvers-MSM Chair, 20 March, Maastricht, Netherlands

The event “Lecture organized by the Corvers-MSM Chair in Innovation Procurement" will take place the 20th March at 16:00 at the Maastricht School of Management in Maastricht, Netherlands by Professor Nicola Dimitri and Dr. Anne Rainville. The meeting aims to provide an overview of the economic, legal and practical considerations...

Launching the Helix Nebula Science Cloud Prototype Phase 14:30 CEST 3 April 2017 CERN, Geneva, Switzerland

In November 2016, 4 Consortia won the HNSciCloud tender and started to develop the designs for the hybrid cloud platform. At the beginning of February 2017, the four consortia met at CERN to present their proposals to the buyers. After the submission of their designs, the consortia were asked to...

Helix Nebula - The Science Cloud helps to shape the European Open Science Cloud

On the 3rd of February 2017 renowned leading experts met the Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moedas to discuss the next steps of the European Open Science Cloud. Bob Jones, CERN & HNSciCloud coordinator brought to the table his experience and the major findings coming out from the...

Helix Nebula Initiative to provide feedback on the e-IRG 2016 Roadmap

CERN, on behalf of the Helix Nebula Initiative, has been requested to provide feedback on the e-IRG 2016 roadmap.

Press Release on Results of the HNSciCloud PCP Tender Bidding Phase

HNSciCloud has recently come out with a Press Release detailing the outcomes of the Bidding Phase as established in the HNSciCloud Tender Awards Ceremony and Design Phase Kickoff held in Lyon on November 2nd, 2016.

HNSciCloud PCP Tender Results Announcement Ceremony & Design Phase kick off, 2 November 2016, Lyon, France

On the 2nd November 2016, the awards ceremony for the successful bidders of the Helix Nebula Science Cloud tender is taking place in Lyon, France, at the CC-IN2P3 (CNRS) premises, one of the main academic data centres in France and a procurer of the Helix Nebula Science Cloud (HNSciCloud).

HNSciCloud at Cloud Procurement Session at Digital Infrastructures for Research 2016

Europe's leading e-infrastructures invited all researchers, developers and service providers for three days of brainstorming and discussions at the Digital Infrastructures for Research event (28-30 September 2016). HNSciCloud was represented at the session on Procuring cloud services for the public research sector on September 28th, chaired by David Foster.

HNSciCloud Tender Closes

Sept 19 – Earlier today, the Helix Nebula Science Cloud Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) Tender closed. The deadline at noon brought an end to the period in which bids on the €5.3 Million project were accepted.

€5.3 million tender for Hybrid Cloud Platform serving science

Today Helix Nebula - The Science Cloud (HNSciCloud) launched a €5.3 million tender for the establishment of a European hybrid cloud platform. The purpose of the platform is to support the deployment of high-performance computing and big-data capabilities for scientific research.

Proton and Neutron Data Analysis as a Service (PANDAAS) Workshop

On July 7th, 2016, ESRF hosted a workshop in Grenoble, France, to promote the Helix Nebula Science Cloud to the community of photon and neutron (PAN) research labs. Among the 40 registered participants were members of ESRF, ILL, and national photon and neutron research labs around Europe, as well as...