Catalyst logo

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 ):



October 16th and 17th the kickoff meeting of the European Commission Horizon 2020 project “Catalyst” was held in the Centro Congressi Cavour Rome.

During this kickoff meeting we were able to get acquainted with all participants and the companies they work for. Next tot that it was interesting understanding the projects everybody is working on.

The project consists of 9 Work Packages and each work package have been introduced to everyone. Not everyone is involved in all work packages so this gave a good view about the total project.

The next six months have been discussed and we have a lot of work to do.

I  am looking forward to the project since this is my first European project and during the project I will post about the progress frequently

Soon the website of the project will be launched!



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