Catalyst is the new Horizon 2020 project of the European Commission

Catalyst is the project about “Converting Data centers in Energy Flexibility Ecosystems.

Data Centres (DC) are among the largest yet increasing energy consumers, due to the rising digitization of human activities. RES integration and energy efficiency improvements have the potential to reduce significantly DC carbon footprint, while increasing at the same time the auto-consumed energy, thus improving DC security and resiliency of supply against climate change. However, very few solutions, despite validated in lab, have been successfully deployed on operational DCs, mostly due to technological fragmentation, excessive CAPEX and lack of appropriate business models. CATALYST will address these challenges through turning existing/new DCs into flexible multi-energy hubs, which can sustain investments in RES and energy efficiency by offering mutualized flexibility services to the smart energy grids (both electricity and heat grids). By leveraging on the outcomes of FP7 GEYSER and DOLPHIN projects, CATALYST will adapt, scale up, validate and deploy an innovative, adaptable technological and business framework aimed at i) exploiting available DC non-IT legacy assets (onsite RES/backup generation, UPS/batteries, cooling system thermal inertia, heat pump for waste heat reuse) to deliver simultaneous energy flexibility services to multi-energy coupled electricity/heat/IT load marketplaces ii) deploying Cross-DC cross-infrastructures (e.g. heat vs IT) IT workload orchestration, by combining heat-demand driven HPC geographical workload balancing, with traceable ICT-load migration between federated DCs to match IT demands with time-varying on-site RES (“follow the energy approach”) iii) providing marketplace-as-a-service tools to nurture novel ESCO2.0 business models. The adaptation and replication potential of CATALYST will be demonstrated through carrying out four different real life trials spanning through the full spectrum of DCs types (fully distributed DCs, HPC, co-location, legacy) and architectures (from large centralized versus decentralized micro-DCs).


Together with GreenIT Amsterdam and Alliander, Schuberg Philis / atom86 is going to validate and demonstrate the opportunities in the next three years to link data centers and the Amsterdam Smart City.

The list below shows the complete list of participants:

Participant Country
Engineering-Ingegneria Informatica SPA Italy
SingularLogic S.A. Greece
Enel Italy
Alliander Netherlands
Green IT Amsterdam Netherlands
Schuberg Philis Netherlands
Qarnot Computing France
Power Operations Limited United Kingdom
Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Centre Poland
Technical University of Cluj-Napoca Romania

Project website

The project is coordinated by Dr. Massimo Bertoncini

The Catalyst project is based on the Geyser & Dolfin projects

The Geyser project was focused on the integration of energy efficient data centers with the Smart Grid and Smart City in energy and ancillary services marketplaces, while optimizing intra-and inter-DC operation

The Dolphin project developed a data center optimization platform and a cross-data center framework, using VM migration, energy efficiency and SLA (re)negotiation as key optimization parameters

Community Research and Development Information Service ( CORDIS ):


Workpackages for Schuberg Philis

Within Schuberg Philis we will work on the following work packages:

  • Reuse the warm air to provide heat to the DC offices
  • Reuse the warm air to pre-heat the diesel UPS engines
  • Provide a comparison between battery based and dynamic rotating UPS
  • Reuse the cold drinking water to provide energy-free (passive cooling) water cooling
  • Collaborate with Alliander in electricity demand response programs to offer flexibility/ancillary services and reduce energy consumption and provide electricity back for Smart Grid stabilization from dynamic rotating UPS
  • Host IT load from the Qarnot Computing fully distributed datacenters








Green Data Centre Stakeholders Group Kick-off

The CATALYST consortium is establishing the Green Data Centre – Stakeholders Group (GDC-SG) to bring under one roof data centre owners and managers, Distribution System Operators and heat network operators, utilities, energy retailers and Energy Service Companies, Smart Cities and regulatory representatives.

The mission is to contribute to the vision of Green Data Centres as engaged players in the energy transition towards decarbonization of the society. More specifically the aim is to discuss and resolve technological, business and regulatory challenges arising from the integration of data centres as key actors in the energy domain and smart infrastructures of the future.

The GDC-SG members will federate initiatives, wrap-up essential orientations and communicate toward the industry, the authorities, and the standardization groups to share, defend and drive the technical and programmatic orientation as defined within the group.

The CATALYST consortium partners, as the group’s founding members, organize the GDC-SG kick-off event inviting professionals from all around Europe. During this event the group will be officially established, its creation manifesto debated and initial activities outlined.

Become the catalyst to energy transition!

Support Green Data Centres in Europe!

Join the Green Data Centre Stakeholders Group!

Reserve your free spot now and stay tuned for more information on the agenda and venue.

Date and Time

Wed 27 June 2018

14:00 – 17:30 CEST



Amsterdam region