Building the European Cloud, Edge, IoT Continuum for business and research

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At the European Commission’s 2021 Fireside Chat on Next Generation IoT and Edge Computing, experts agreed that ‘edge computing is the logical evolution of the cloud computing model, avoiding the transfer of mission-critical data in the cloud, supporting resilience, real-time operations, security, and privacy protection while at the same time reducing energy consumption and carbon footprint’. It is expected that in the middle of this decade most of the data processing and analytics will take place where they are the most efficient, which is generally close to where the data is generated: at the edge of the network.

Dr. Max Lemke, Head of IoT Unit, European Commission, says that along the compute continuum, we are witnessing a shift from centralized computing facilities to computing at the edge and in this policy document, explains what this shift means. Dr. Lemke emphasises that “European companies have strong expertise and market shares in industrial and business applications, industrial IoT and 5G across many sectors, including mobility, energy, the home, agriculture, manufacturing, logistics, etc. By capitalizing on these unique, largely sectoral competences and by driving leadership in the field of edge computing and the IoT, Europe has a one-time opportunity to regain a significant role in the computing market by 2025 and, by doing so, make further progress towards digital autonomy. Leveraging a local, distributed computing infrastructure, this move to the edge and the IoT facilitates the creation of new services and business models rooted in verticals around the applications, rather than today’s more general-purpose cloud business models. This shift towards edge computing will lead to strong changes in the computing landscape and innovative use scenarios across Europe’s economy.”

Read the full report here.


Furthermore, this pivoting towards the cloud-edge-IoT continuum is reflected in the launch of a new cluster of projects on Future European Platforms for IoT and the Edge: Meta-Operating Systems, which will target the next generation of higher-level operating systems for the smart IoT with strong computing capacity at the edge, embedded in a computing continuum, from IoT-to-edge-to-cloud.

Receiving €58 million in EU funding, these Horizon Europe Cluster 4 projects will strengthen European supply and value chains in cloud and edge computing by integrating elements of 5G connectivity, the Internet of Things, AI and cybersecurity. The 6 selected projects will exploit new computing and virtualisation paradigms, building on established cloud concepts and targeting down-scaling application-agnostic computing principles to a novel edge infrastructure.

More information on these can be found in the Factsheet released at the IoT Week 2022 (download here).


A consolidated page of information and activities on the European Cloud Edge IoT continuum is found here.