AWS Public Sector Blog

European research and education community can now access discounted cloud services faster through new agreement

clouds with connected dots overlaid

GÉANT, one of the world’s largest research and education networks, is making it simpler to adopt cloud services through a new procurement framework, Open Cloud for Research Environments (OCRE Cloud Framework). GÉANT selected Amazon Web Services (AWS) Partners Jisc and Rackspace Technology to join the OCRE Cloud Framework.

Framework to facilitate cloud procurement and adoption

Cloud-based technologies offer the European research community powerful tools, but buying cloud services can be a complex process for higher education and research institutions. GÉANT—an organisation for higher education and research organisations to purchase from multiple cloud service providers (CSPs)—created the OCRE Cloud Framework to accelerate cloud adoption in the European research community. The OCRE Cloud Framework aims to bring together cloud providers and the research and education community through ready-to-use service agreements and €9.5 million in adoption funding provided by the European Commission.

Over the last few years, AWS worked with GÉANT to better understand the specific requirements of the institutions that will be using the OCRE Cloud Framework. More recently, AWS ran a series of four full-day workshops with the OCRE Cloud Framework project team and 10 hands-on workshops with universities in the Netherlands, Portugal, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, and Belgium.

The OCRE Cloud Framework replaced the previous GÉANT IAAS (infrastructure as a service) framework.

AWS Partners help connect GÉANT members

AWS Partners Jisc and Rackspace Technology will help bring AWS Cloud offerings to GÉANT members and accelerate adoption of the cloud. UK customers will be able to procure AWS Cloud services through JISC, and Rackspace Technology will be responsible for customers from a further 38 European countries.

Director of cloud at Jisc Josh Fry said, “The OCRE Cloud Framework is a key enabler for education and research public cloud access, bringing significant benefit to our members and allowing greater value for money. Through the framework, Jisc can offer discounts and seamless procurement of AWS services, helping to achieve our vision for the UK to be a world leader in technology for the sector.”

Chief relationship officer for Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) at Rackspace Technology Mahesh Desai said, “As European research institutions and universities seek to accelerate their journey to the cloud, the OCRE Cloud Framework project removes barriers creating a seamless connection into the IT community. Rackspace Technology has been selected as an integral partner of the OCRE Cloud Framework in 38 countries for our AWS expertise and we’re excited to begin empowering these organisations to enhance their capabilities through the cloud.”

The benefits of the OCRE Cloud Framework for European research and education institutions

The OCRE Cloud Framework provides a range of benefits for institutions using the framework, including:

  • Save time and money: The OCRE Cloud Framework saves institutions from time-consuming and complex processes, potentially reducing the procurement process to just a few hours instead of weeks or months, and gives them access to cloud services at a discounted rate. While avoiding public procurement of cloud services and by using the OCRE Cloud Framework service agreements, the research community can access unique OCRE Cloud Framework discounts to AWS services that would otherwise not be available.
  • Take advantage of discounted service agreements: More than ten thousand education and research institutions across Europe can now access ready-to-use discounted service agreements for cloud-based services through the OCRE Cloud Framework.
  • Use tailored agreements: Organisations can use the OCRE Cloud Framework established agreements, confident that they meet the education and research community’s specific requirements, including procurement and payment models that match the sector’s financial structures and funding prerequisites.

Vice president of international sales for worldwide public sector at AWS Max Peterson said, “We are thrilled about the potential of the OCRE Cloud Framework to make it easier, faster, and more cost effective than ever for higher education and research customers to take advantage of cutting-edge AWS cloud computing services. Working with our strategic partners Jisc and Rackspace Technology, we’ve crafted unique training, enablement, and services offers available to education customers across Europe to help them realize the benefits of faster cloud adoption—made especially clear last year as millions shifted learning online and education budgets were strained.”

To introduce GÉANT/OCRE Cloud Framework and procurement of AWS services through the framework, AWS is holding an introduction to AWS on the OCRE Cloud Framework webinar at 11:00 AM GMT/12:00 PM CET on 8 February with additional webinars to follow.

For more information on how to start using the framework, visit