A consortium of seven Dutch companies and research institutes has won funding for a project looking at efficient Edge data centers.

The Modular Integrated Sustainable Datacenter project (MISD) has been given the green light by the European Union and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, and will receive €70 million ($77.2m) in funding from the Dutch Government.

asperitas immersion cooling.webp
– Asperitas / Shell

Consortium members include liquid cooling specialist Asperitas, along with BetterBe, Deerns, Eurofiber, NBIP (National Internet Providers Management Organization), TNO, and the University of Twente.

MISD is part of the European IPCEI (Important Project of Common European Interest - Cloud Infrastructure and Services) program, which will have funding of €1.2 billion ($1.32bn) to develop European cloud infrastructure. 

The MISD project has five years, from 2024 to 2029, to build a modular, sustainable, and secure Edge facility which can be deployed close to end users, while achieving a CO2 reduction of more than 50 percent compared with current options.    

Maikel Bouricius, CMO of Asperitas, lead partner on the project, said: "The MISD project is the outcome of years of collaboration in the Netherlands on energy-efficient data centers. Many stakeholders were involved in the initial phase to shape this initiative and this funding makes it possible for the Netherlands to be a development hub for the next generation of data centers." 

Asperitas provides immersion cooling in tubs of dielectric fluid, while BetterBe is a software as a service (SaaS) provider, Deerns is an engineering company, and Eurofiber is an optical network provider.

Bouricius said the project would look at getting "optimal results" from liquid cooling, while BetterBe's digital transformation officer Theo Balijonsaid his company would "contribute to the development and realization of modular energy-efficient data center housing with distributed cloud infrastructure platforms," and "investigate how the reduction of CPU cycles can be realized in application software." 

Eurofiber will provide a "staging lab and a geographically distributed field lab environment," said Martin Vos, business innovation director at Eurofiber.  

"NBIP will investigate how the availability of online services can be secured in this new cloud infrastructure, for example by distributed DDoS mitigation," said Octavia de Weerdt, director of NBIP.   

TNO would investigate how "sustainability parameters in distributed and federated data centers can be used to reduce the climate impact of cloud use," said Marc van Dijk, digital leader there.

The University of Twente focuses will support four sustainability-oriented lines of research. According to Maria Vlasiou, professor of stochastic networks: "These include scalable, sustainable, innovative computational approaches for data center operations and data centers as active support for the power grid. We will also focus on advanced thermal management for sustainable cooling and heat utilization, software solutions for secure multi-party cloud systems, and stakeholder engagement through learning communities for inter-organizational learning and innovation implementation."  

Earlier this year, DCD notes that Asperitas changed CEO, replacing Ronald Monster with Rutger de Haij.