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Unicorn contributes to European Cloud Standardisation and begins to develop a CEN Workshop agreement

A CWA is an agreement developed and approved in a CEN Workshop; the latter is open to the direct participation of anyone with an interest in the development of the agreement. From Unicorn the partners who will get involved are UCY, CAS, UBITEC, SUIT5 and the Cloud Incubator HUB.

CWA is not formally a European standard and involves no obligation at national level, but it is much faster and flexible in its production as well as an essential step towards the development of the European standard.
The CWA will allow UNICORN project to faster and better use the project results, as it increases the interoperability and enables the comparison of UNICORN’s outcomes with the products that already exist in the market. Lastly this will help the project to better disseminate its results to a wider community.

The kick-off meeting in Athens led by DIN will focus on introducing the CEN and the workshop concept, the election and appointment of the workshop Chair and Vice chair, while also the project plan will be adopted, and future actions and meetings will be discussed

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Unicorn Partners re-unite in Athens

Unicorn consortium is holding its plenary meeting in Athens on 8th and 9th November 2018, and its hosted by Ubitech. Apart from the usual talks such as the status of the project and the status of current deliverables, partners will also participate in interesting workshops such as the Workshop on communication roadmap which will be organised by European DIGITAL SME Alliance and FORTH.

Additionally, the consortium partners will kick-off its further standardisation activities with the launch of the CEN Workshop Agreement on the Analytics Insights and Scaling Policies for Microservices. The activity is led by UNICORN partner DIN.

Lastly, the final preparations of the Idea Innovation contest will take place, and the responsible partners (UCY, UBITECH, CINCUBATOR, DIGITAL SME) will be setting up the technical infrastructure for the contest, planning the communication activities, etc.

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UNICORN consortium meets in Rimini

On the 7th and 8th of June UNICORN held its plenary and technical meeting, hosted by Maggioli, in Rimini.

Besides ‘business as usual’ (such as discussions on the progress and results in different WPs, planning of the next months, etc.), project partners had some efficient workshops! Technical partners were working in the Integration session lead by UBITECH, while DIN kept the rest busy, developing the Project Plan for the CEN Workshop Agreement (see more about UNICORN’s standardisation activities here).

In addition, the project partners contributed to the Market Analysis, Business Plan and Innovation Management by developing their UNICORN Customer Empathy Maps in a workshop organised by Steinbeis.

What are the results? You will surely see them in the following months, just don’t forget to request our newsletter and follow us on Twitter!

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UNICORN contributes to the European standardization

The UNICORN project consortium has made a decision to develop and produce a CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA) and thereof contribute to the European standardization environment. Although the CWA is not formally a European Standard, and involves no obligation at national level, it is considered as an important step towards the development of the European standard. In addition, the production process of the CWA is much faster and more flexible, thus it is more suitable for the project.

Production of the CEN Workshop Agreement will allow UNICORN to better and faster exploit the project results. The produced standard, or, in this case, the CWA, increases the interoperability and enables the comparison of UNICORN’s outcomes with the products already existing in the market. In addition, it will ensure a better dissemination of the UNICORN’s results to a wider community.

What is the CEN Workshop Agreement and how does it work?

Workshop Agreements are considered as the consensus documents developed during the workshops where any interested stakeholder can participate. First of all, the Project Plan and other relevant documents have to be submitted to the CEN-CENELEC Management Centre (CCMC). The CCMC examines the documents and then publishes the draft Project Plan on their website for at least 30 days. In this way, all the interested stakeholders can get informed about the standardization proposal, and can submit their comments or express their interest to participate in the CWA development process.

At least 30 days after the publication of the draft Project Plan, the kick off meeting for the CWA can take place, where the Project Plan gets approved by the participants and a chairperson of the CEN-Workshop gets appointed. From this point on, the development of the CWA starts, and an entire process can take, on average, between 10-12 months. It is much faster than developing an actual standard, thus more suitable for the UNICORN project which will end in 2020.

In the lifespan of the CWA (which is 3 years, and can be extended to another 3), the CWA can get transformed into another type of standards deliverable, such as a Technical Specification or full European standard.

Next steps of the UNICORN consortium

In the next UNICORN consortium meeting (June, 2018), consortium partner DIN, which leads the standardisation activities, will organise a workshop on standard development. Together with other consortium partners, they will prepare the documents needed to initiate the CWA (draft Project Plan, self-assessment, analysis of interest).  Afterwards, DIN will submit these documents to the CCMC, and continue with the CWA development process.

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UNICORN’s Integrated platform is on its way!

UNICORN project partners have already released its framework components and mechanisms prototypes! It means we are just a step away from the first release of the integrated platform!

Want to know more? Find here our deliverables on the cloud apps development and management, the orchestration and resource management, the continuous security and data privacy enforcement and the cloud monitoring.

Want to try our first version of the UNICORN platform? Stay tuned for more news!

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The EU wants to protect SMEs from unfair and unbalanced cloud computing contracts. Have your say!

The European SMEs, which have recently faced contract-related problems using cloud computer services, are invited to voice them, and contribute to the better cloud computing environment in Europe. Your data has been lost or destructed? Have you faced the unforeseen fees for the portability of data? Contractual terms and conditions were not clear or were unilaterally modified? If you can identify with these or similar issues, you are invited to fill in the survey here and influence the future of cloud computing services in Europe.

The purpose of this survey is to identify the problems that SMEs in the EU encounter by using cloud computing services. The survey serves as part of a bigger study which analyzes the economic damage to SMEs arising from unfair and unbalanced cloud computing contracts. The study will provide economic evidence for assessing the need for any further EU actions, be they legislative, soft law, awareness raising or other, to increase SMEs’ trust in cloud computing services and to allow them to fully reap the cost savings and other benefits stemming from cloud computing.

Target audience: SMEs who use cloud computing services and who are established in one of the 12 selected Member States and are active in one of the 5 selected economic sectors.

Member States selected: the Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Spain, and The Netherlands.

Economic sectors selected (and their corresponding NACE codes): manufacturing (C); the wholesale and retail trade (G); professional, scientific and technical activities (M69-M74); administrative and support service activities (N); information and communication (J).

Period of consultation: from 13/04/2018 to 04/05/2018.

The study is carried out by Ernst & Young and commissioned by the Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers of the European Commission.

Link to the SURVEY: Click HERE and have your say!

 

 

 

This information is taken from digitalsme.eu

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Unicorn: less costs and more security for entrepreneurs on the cloud

UNICORN cloud-computing software will ameliorate developers’ and entrepreneurs’ daily work.

How?

Here are some ideas shared by the project partners:

Software providers can focus on their core offerings and let Unicorn smartly handle elasticity, security and performance of their cloud services’, explains Sotiris Koussouris, from Suite5, one of the partners taking part in this project financed by the European Commission.

Besides, he states that this innovation will minimise operating expenses and maximise quality of service for their customers.

In addition to this, there are more good news for developers. Unicorn is empowering them to use high-level model-driven design tools to specify context-aware security and privacy solutions. This will enforce security and privacy policies in real time, according to Manos Papoutsakis, of FORTH, other partner from the UNICORN consortia.

In consequence, Papoutsakis underlines that ‘these tools will drastically reduce time-to-market for SMEs developing services for the global IT market, enabling them to rapidly design and build robust solutions that can be automatically deployed in multi-cloud infrastructures‘.

In line with these features, UNICORN allows developers to choose which parts of the application are deployed to which providers, and how all services are going to be orchestrated, as Diego Alonso – representative a from Cloud Incubator HUB– stresses.

What about security and data confidentiality? These are two of the biggest problems in software development. Alonso considers that compatibility with mainstream cloud providers and containerisation technologies will ease application deployment and scalability and will keep data secure.

To sum up, UNICORN will reduce costs of money and time for SMEs and startups when it comes to their cybersecurity and cloud computing management.

Image by www.inkmedia.eu

 

 

 

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Another step to improve multi-cloud software for SMEs and startups

The UNICORN project, co-financed by the European Union under the Horizon2020 Research and Innovation programme, brings together leading European research/academic institutions, industries and SMEs in the field of cloud and software technologies, which are meeting in Cyprus on the 1-2 June. The project team, formed of experienced specialists in a wide variety of areas, seeks to achieve one common goal: make cloud services easier for SMEs and startups! While the first day of their meeting is scheduled for the Plenary Session, the second one will also focus on technical topics and practical workshops: besides an overview of the project goals and concepts, the event will include some talks and practical exercises on innovative areas such as cloud management, code and online communication. In fact, UNICORN is also on the track to promote its achievements and disseminate them Europewide with a newly developed Roadmap that will be discussed in a meeting as well. How will this project make multi-cloud software more accesible for entrepreneurs? The project is going to simplify the design, deployment and management of multi-cloud services for SMEs. Besides, it will offer a better security in this kind of platforms. The innovation activities will be based upon existing solutions and developments to the largest possible extent.

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    UNICORN project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 731846.

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