Building of the iToBoS Cloud: EU Landscape

The goal of the Intelligent Total Body Scanner for Early Detection of Melanoma (iToBoS) project is to utilize the power of Artificial Intelligence and develop a new diagnostic device to combat melanoma, a highly dangerous type of skin cancer.

This objective is precisely in line with the mission of Horizon Europe [1], the funding programme behind the project, that is research and innovation for the sake of tackling global challenges.

As a continuation of Horizon 2020, Horizon Europe aims to maintain Europe’s leading role in science and technology and ensure its future growth and wellbeing. With a budget of €95.5 billion [2], the programme will support researchers, innovators, and research institutions across the European Union for the period from 2021-2027. In addition to promoting the realization of new ideas and tackling global challenges, Horizon Europe also creates new jobs, encourages collaboration, and furthers industrial competitiveness within the EU.

While Horizon Europe stayed true to its predecessor in many aspects, it also enhanced some key elements, one of which is an open science policy [3]. This policy promotes open access to publications, data, and software, and encourages research parties to collaborate and ensure the transparency and reproducibility of their results. In accordance with open science practices, Horizon Europe requires research data to be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable (FAIR) [4], and for the sake of better knowledge and data sharing, it calls for the use of open research infrastructures. Providing an environment for European scientific communities and research infrastructures for all this is the goal of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) [5].

The development of EOSC has been initiated by the European Commission in 2015, and it is still an ongoing process today. It aims to act as a ‘Web of FAIR data and services’ within Europe, providing a platform for publishing, finding, and reusing data, tools, and services. To increase research productivity and empower open science across Europe, the Commission intends to develop EOSC into an environment that facilitates free flow of research data across borders and enables the scientific community to reap the benefits of data-driven science.

As another pillar, research infrastructures, ranging from equipment and instruments to computing systems and communication networks, are highly important for research and innovation. Consequently, Horizon Europe has a programme dedicated for research infrastructures, which aims to forge the European research infrastructure landscape into an interconnected ecosystem. Established in 2002, the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) [6] is a self-regulated body working toward a strategy-led approach to policy making, investments, and developments on European research infrastructures. After a thorough selection process, the most promising research infrastructures still under implementation are presented together with those already successfully established within the ESFRI Roadmap [7], the latest of which was published in 2021. As the listed infrastructure projects develop, the Roadmap is continuously updated, providing guidance for the stakeholders of European research infrastructures.

Collaboration, open science, and a borderless flow of FAIR data are not only driving forces behind the growth and competitiveness of European research and innovation, but factors which greatly increase the productivity of the scientific community. The sharing of knowledge and data is especially important in data-driven research, such as iToBoS. The infrastructure supporting the project, ELKH Cloud, aims to enable the participation in international collaborations and to advance the free flow of data by becoming an integrated part of the Scientific Large-scale Infrastructure for Computing/Communication Experimental Studies (SLICES) [8]. SLICES, in its current implementation project called SLICES Starting Community (SLICES-SC), gathers partners from 15 countries and aims to establish the first, large-scale European experimental research infrastructure in the area of digital sciences (5G/6G, NFV, IoT and Cloud Computing). The SLICES distributed research infrastructure has been included in the ESFRI Roadmap 2021 [9]. By joining the SLICES initiative at an early stage, ELKH Cloud intends to become an important gateway to European research and innovation for the Hungarian digital science community.

[1] European Commission, Horizon Europe. Available at

[2] European Commission, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, Horizon Europe, budget : Horizon Europe - the most ambitious EU research & innovation programme ever, Publications Office, 2021,

[3] European Commission, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, Horizon Europe, open science : early knowledge and data sharing, and open collaboration, Publications Office of the European Union, 2021,

[4] Wilkinson, M., Dumontier, M., Aalbersberg, I. et al. The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship. Sci Data 3, 160018 (2016).

[5] European Commission, European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). Available at

[6] European Commission, European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). Available at

[7] ESFRI, Roadmap 2021: Strategy Report on Research Infrastructures. Available at

[8] Slices-RI, what is Slices-RI?. Available at

[9] ESFRI, SLICES: Scientific Large-scale Infrastructure for Computing/Communication Experimental Studies. Available at