Access to the services of the future Cloud Services Framework Agreement (OCRE) is scheduled for January 2025, but entities that express an interest in joining are immediately entitled to purchase cloud services.
In January 2023, the process of training entities to join the relaunch of the existing OCRE Framework Agreement and new institutions interested in joining the Pan-European Cloud Services Framework Agreement 2025-2028 started. This process includes around 40 countries, more than 20,000 European Higher Education institutions and the most important and significant cloud service providers.
For entities interested in joining the framework agreement, there are two steps to follow. First, validation - by entities adhering to the OCRE framework agreement (2021-2024) - and identification of email contacts - by new institutions. Secondly, sending a response to the email "Expression of Interest to participate in the Cloud Services Framework Agreement (2025-2028)", which will be sent during the 3rd quarter of this year.
The Pan-European Cloud Services Framework Agreement (2025-2028) is the third edition of the project, which will succeed the previous framework agreements: The Géant Framework Agreement (2017-2020) for IaaS Cloud Services and the Open Clouds for Research Environments Framework Agreement, OCRE, (2021-2024) for IaaS+ Cloud Services (IaaS, PaaS and SaaS).
In the past two editions, different models of action were established with the NRENS (National Research and Education Networks). The Portuguese NREN - FCCN - opted for the role of FACILITATOR, which consists of disseminating information, increasing the adoption curve of Cloud services and streamlining the processes for contracting between Adhering Entities and adhering resellers.
The Pan-European Cloud Services Framework Agreement has discounts due to pan-European aggregation and economies of scale, as well as significant exemptions on inbound and outbound data. And it ensures guaranteed trust, identity and security and compliance with all EU regulations, from Procurement and Security, to VAT, GDPR and more.
Membership includes training, free of charge, on the existing platforms in the framework agreement, the use of vouchers for the use of services, the possibility of contracting services with associated specialized manpower, and the financing of projects, through simplified applications for tenders, provided for in the framework agreement, aimed at increasing the adoption of these services.
As in previous editions, the response to the "Expression of Interest" email is voluntary. Membership is free of charge and does not oblige any purchase within the framework agreement, nor does it inhibit the purchase of cloud services outside this framework agreement.
The new framework agreement has not yet defined the type of eligible entity, so reference should be made to the OCRE Framework Agreement (2021-2024), which welcomed entities with the following profiles:
- Under the supervision of the Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education;
- Linked to the Science, Technology and Society Network, RCTS;
- Linked to FCCN.
You can find out more about the current OCRE framework agreement: https://www.fccn.pt/computacao/cloud-ocre/
And about the Adhering Entities at: https://www.fccn.pt/documento/entidades-ocre/