Free-of-charge use cases for end users in CSC's computing, cloud and storage services

The use of many of CSC’s services is free-of-charge for users affiliated with a Finnish higher education institution (universities, universities of applied sciences), or a state research institute. This is based on the agreement made with the Ministry of Education and Culture.

The services available for free-of-charge use include Puhti, Mahti, Notebooks, Allas, cPouta, ePouta, Rahti, Kaivos, Sensitive Data Connect and Sensitive Data Desktop.

The Fairdata services (IDA, Qvain, Metax, Etsin) are included under certain conditions. The Digital Preservation Service for Research Data (Fairdata PAS) requires a separate contract. For more information, see the Fairdata use policy.

Please see below the detailed descriptions of the free-of-charge use cases and their limitations. If your use does not fall within the use cases described in this document or you are unsure, contact servicedesk@csc.fi. Other than free-of-charge use cases require a separate contract with CSC.

Brokering of CSC free-of-charge use is not allowed. Users utilizing CSC services free-of-charge can not offer them to third parties as a paid service.

This document may be published in several languages. In case of discrepancy the English language version shall prevail.

Definitions for the terminology used in this document

  • "User" refers to an individual who uses any of the Services referred to in this document.
  • "Account" refers to a User who has registered a CSC user account.
  • "CSC Project" refers to a group of one or more Users who may be granted access to use CSC's computing, data, and cloud resources up to a certain limit. One of the Users acts as the Project Manager of the CSC Project.
  • "CSC Project Manager" refers to a User who has registered an Account and is responsible for a CSC Project.
  • "CSC Project Member" is a User, who has an Account and who has been granted Project membership by the Project Manager.
  • "FAIR principles" are established guidelines for making data more findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable.

Detailed descriptions of the use cases

CSC’s computing, cloud and storage services are free-of-charge in the following cases:

1. Research in higher education institutions and in state research institutes
2. Education in higher education institutions and training provided by state research institutes
3. Companies collaborating with Finnish higher education institutions and state research institutes
4. International collaboration with Finnish higher education institutions and state research institutes or with CSC
5. Government’s analysis, assessment and research activities
6. Local support necessary for the aforementioned use cases

 

1) Research in Finnish higher education institutions and state research institutes

The use of services is free-of-charge for academic research in Finnish higher education institutions and in state research institutes. Research results and datasets (including publications, learning materials, data, code and algorithms) must be released publicly, preferably for peer review, as openly as possible and as protected as necessary. CSC supports the FAIR principles (see our Data policy and Persistent Identifier (PID) policy).

The research should result in at least one of the following

  • A scientific or scholarly publication
  • A public research report
  • An open dataset
  • Some other dataset available for academic research (including publications, learning materials, data, code and algorithms)

The free-of-charge use does not cover:

  • Statutory duties as a public authority (in Finnish, viranomaistehtävät)
  • Operative systems or services that require higher service level agreements (SLA) than CSC’s services normally provide (for example, requiring increased availability or customer support).
  • Service production funded from the budget of the ministry responsible for ownership steering.

The following is decided case by case:

  • If a CSC Project managed by a higher education institution or a state research institute has a need to consume exceptionally large amount of resources at any point of the research project life-cycle, separate negotiations with CSC are required. These negotiations should preferably take place in the funding application phase. CSC reserves the right to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the resources can be offered within the free-of-charge use. More information about resource limits can be found on https://research.csc.fi/en/applying-for-computing-resources.

A CSC Project Manager can apply for a fixed-term Account and membership to the CSC Project they manage for their collaborator(s) outside Finnish higher education institutions and in state research institutes when the above criteria are met.

 

2) Education and training in Finnish higher education institutions and state research institutes

The use of services is free-of-charge for arranging education and training by Finnish higher education institutions and by state research institutes in the following use cases:

  • IT environments and basic support services for arranging a single course
  • Thesis work and study assignments
  • Research-based training intended for the academic community in state research institutes; for example, training on how to use or analyze datasets or materials provided by state research institutes

The free-of-charge use does not cover:

  • Production use of learning management systems and MOOCs 
  • Production use of basic IT infrastructure for education
  • Training that Finnish higher education institutions or state research institutes provide as a paid service

The following are decided case by case:

  • Use of the services for piloting IT solutions for education
  • Use of the services for training targeted mainly at other than Finnish higher education institutions or state research institutes

 

3) Companies collaborating with higher education institutions and state research institutes

The use of services is free-of-charge for research and education in Finnish higher education institutions and in state research institutes collaborating with commercial partners (e.g. private companies), if the use is in line with aforementioned free-of-charge use cases. Company partners may be granted a fixed-term membership to the CSC Project, when invited by the CSC Project Manager.

CSC may grant fixed-term access to the services to a company representative that opens the company’s data for research use.

Other use is not covered free-of-charge.

 

4) International collaboration with Finnish higher education institutions and state research institutes or with CSC

The use of services is free-of-charge for research and education in Finnish higher education institutions and in state research institutes collaborating with international collaborator(s), if the use is in line with aforementioned free-of-charge use cases. The results (knowledge, experience, publications) of the international use should benefit research groups in Finland. International collaborator(s) may be granted a fixed-term membership to the CSC Project, when invited by the CSC Project Manager.

CSC may grant fixed-term access to the services to an international user, when CSC is a partner in a European research project. CSC reserves the right to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the resources can be offered within the free-of-charge use. The decision will be based on CSC's resource allocation principles and on the scope of the project.

 

5) Government's analysis, assessment and research activities

The use of services is free-of-charge for the joint activities of research, analysis, and assessment that are coordinated by the Finnish government in Finnish higher education institutions and state research institutes.

 

6) Local support necessary for the aforementioned use cases

Support staff in Finnish higher education institutions, state research institutes, and the Government ICT Center Valtori can register an Account, create a CSC Project(s) and apply for resources free-of-charge if it is necessary for supporting the use cases. Support refers to, for example, providing instructions, testing, or piloting the services.