Government awards £5m to research projects that address cloud challenges

The government is offering £5m funding for research and development projects that will address cloud computing challenges and push its adoption

The government has pledged £5m to support 13 research and development projects that will address the business and technology challenges hindering the adoption of cloud computing services.

According to a study by the Technology Strategy Board, the government-backed innovation agency, three overarching issues about cloud computing present a challenge to adoption for many organisations – interoperability, resilience of data and identity assurance.

The research projects will explore how new or improved value chains and networks can be created to improve cloud adoption as well as demonstrate where value can be increased by offering information, content and services using the cloud.

“The market for cloud computing services is growing by 26% each year,” said Iain Gray, CEO of the Technology Strategy Board. “It is an area with exceptional potential for growth.  Finding the correct balance between trust and flexibility, without compromising security, is vital,” he said. 

Through this funding, the agency aims to help UK providers of cloud infrastructure and outsourced IT services to work together and address the challenges that are holding organisations from using cloud-based services.

Addressing these challenges could also help the UK cloud providers capture a bigger share of this expanding market, according to Gray.

The research will be focused on developing systems, services and software that could help resolve challenges such as lack of interoperability (which will allow enterprises to use more than one supplier and build hybrid services, and ease of changing from one supplier to another), resilience of data (particularly in areas such as maintaining confidentiality and privacy, and ensuring data integrity) and identity assurance to improve security of cloud services.

Among the projects are ten collaborative research and development projects led by the BBC, BAE Systems, Arjuna Technologies, and Building Research Establishment, Jaguar Land Rover, MobiBiz, Smoke and Mirrors Productions, Telefónica UK and Worknet. These projects will last up to two years and will share grant awards totalling £4.74m.

There will also be three ‘fast-track’ projects led by AIMES Grid Services CIC, Metrarc and ThinkingSafe. These three one-year projects will each receive up to £75,000.

The total value of the 13 projects combined is around £10m and will be partly funded by the investment from the participating companies.

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