Name: Pascal Felber
Name of the Company: Université de Neuchâtel (UniNE)
Business Area: Research and Education
Position in the Company: Dean of Science and Professor of Computer Science
INESC TEC Centre(s) with which the company collaborated: HASLab – High-Assurance Software Laboratory
Project managers (INESC TEC): Rui Oliveira
Title of the project(s): SafeCloud and SafeCloud Technologies
What is your professional background with INESC TEC?
I have known Rui Oliveira since the nineties, when we first met as PhD students at EPFL. Since then, we have kept a close professional relationship, which resulted in several collaborations and joint research projects. This relationship has continued, and even strengthened, after Rui Oliveira joined INESC TEC. The SafeCloud project was among our most successful and fruitful collaborations, in great part thanks to the outstanding quality of the consortium partners and the remarkable work of the technical coordinator, Dr. Hugues Mercier.
Briefly describe the main projects you have carried out in collaboration with INESC TEC.
The SafeCloud Horizon 2020 project was jointly coordinated by UniNE and INESC TEC. The project conception stems from the long-term and fruitful collaboration between INESC TEC and UniNE. After the Edward Snowden leaks, it became clear that the joint expertise of both institutions could become the backbone of a strong consortium able to conceive and to develop novel cloud infrastructures in order to protect sensitive data by design.
The SafeCloud consortium consisted of seven academic and research partners from four European countries (Cloud&Heat, Cybernetica, INESC-ID, INESC TEC, Maxdata, Technische Universität München and UniNE), and was named one of the “success stories” of EU Research.
What are the significant outcomes about these projects that you can highlight?
Besides numerous research contributions in the world’s best journals and conferences in information and distributed systems, the SafeCloud consortium developed nine secure platform components that can be assembled in various ways depending on the security and performance needs of the end products leveraging them. Some of these components have been integrated in the product offerings of Cybernetica and Maxdata. The secure query components of the project have also led to the development of SafeCloud Technologies, a joint startup venture between UniNE and INESC TEC.
What is your opinion on your experience working with INESC TEC?
INESC TEC provides the best possible environment to work on groundbreaking scientific research with a close view on real-world applications. This synergy is rare and difficult to achieve. INESC TEC can provide valuable help for all the stages of a project, from its conception to its execution, its evaluation and as importantly for using its outcomes to make our digital world more secure.
What is the possibility of future collaborations with INESC TEC?
The collaboration between and UniNE and INESC TEC is still going strong, and we expect it to continue for many years in the future.