A European consortium has received EU funding to help develop mobile workforce applications in the cloud.

The MobiCloud consortium has received €4.45 million (£3.8 million) through the European Commission Directorate-General of Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT).

The MobiCloud project is being led by Appear (Sweden), and includes Nettropolis (Germany), EsperantoXL (the Netherlands), Costain (UK) and COMIT Projects (UK). Other companies are being asked to join the consortium.

The aim of the project is to stimulate the provision of new mobile services in the cloud and to support the emergence of a European ecosystem of mobile cloud application developers.

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The reduction in the cost and complexity of mobile application development using cloud technologies is a strategic objective of the European Commission.

With MobiCloud, said the consortium, "it will become feasible for smaller companies - not only global ERP vendors - to quickly develop and market mobile extensions of their existing business applications".

The MobiCloud project already has four "showcase implementations" addressing different industrial applications, including city transit, rail operations, interim staff management and construction. With these applications end-users equipped with smartphones or tablets can access a portfolio of services stored in the cloud.

MobiCloud provides a composite that aggregates data from various corporate IT systems. Depending on context - like location, role, skillset and available colleagues - the application displays different services which react to real-time changes, such as work orders, fault reports and alerts.