What do we have in common? A study mentioning the Helix Nebula initiative received the EGOS Max Boisot award

On 4 July 2018 Jochem Hummel, Hans Berends, and Philipp Tuertscher from the KIN Center of Digital Innovation of the VU University Amsterdam have received the EGOS Max Boisot award, an award for outstanding and innovative research on topics related to organizing in Big Science organizations and in honor of Professor Max Boisot – an organization scholar and management visionary.          

In the study "What do we have in common? Collective action among heterogeneous actors in a meta-organization" the authors report on a 7-year longitudinal study of the Helix Nebula initiative, a collaboration between 'Big Science' (led by CERN, EMBL, and ESA) and 'Big Business' (including Atos, T-Systems) who work together to develop a cloud computing infrastructure for science in Europe. The authors find that the development of the common technical and non-technical components of a digital infrastructure includes crystallizing options in emergent collaborative groups. The connectedness of technical and non-technical elements in digital infrastructures makes that developments serving the individual interests of organizations become part of making collective progress.

The findings of the study undergird and include research on the current HNSciCloud project led by CERN. In the HNSciCloud project ten European science organizations (CERN, CNRS, DESY, EMBL, ESRF, IFAE, INFN, KIT, SURFsara, STFC) collaborate with European and international cloud businesses (consortia led by Rhea and T-Systems) to develop two innovative hybrid cloud brokerage platforms using the European Commission pre-commercial procurement instrument. The HNSciCloud project shows the value and the need of exploring the connectedness between technical (cloud platform) and non-technical resources (procurement structures) to develop common digital infrastructures and thereby informs the European Commission in the development of a European Open Science Cloud.


The award was presented on July, 4th in Tallinn, Estonia.

Who's behind HNSciCloud?

HNSciCloud Pre-Commercial Procurement is driven by ten leading research organisations from across Europe.