Final ENVRIplus event in Brussels explained the benefits of Research Infrastructures collaboration

Full blog post on the ENVRIplus website

The final ENVRIplus dissemination event organized in Brussels, June 4, 2019, welcomed about 100 attendees. The participants had a chance to listen to talks explaining the role of collaboration amongst the environmental research infrastructures for the benefits of science, society, improved synergies and international collaboration. The talks also explained what are the future activities and needs of the ENVRI community to be able to develop a fully interoperable and harmonized cluster of researcher infrastructures. After their presentations, all the speakers were organized in a panel and ready to respond to questions from the audience and/or session moderator.

During the lunch-time, the attendees had a chance to meet about 16 environmental RIs that presented themselves during the so-called Science Fair. Last but not least, the event hosted an Award ceremony for the high school students who have participated in the Serious Game developed by ENVRIplus project.

The EGI Annual Report 2018 is now available

We are happy to announce the release of the EGI Annual Report 2018.

The annual report gives an overview of the EGI Foundation activities in 2018, the contribution to EC projects, an outline of the EGI Federation core services and general financial information.

Among the achievements, last year saw the milestone of 1,000,000 cores of High-Throughput Compute capacity, available now to support research at all scales.

Also in 2018, EGI Foundation brokered 14 SLAs, connecting a myriad of research communities with over 30 EGI Federation data centres and cloud sites. Moreover, EGI participated in 12 European projects last year.

More information on numbers is available in the report.

You can also follow us on Twitter to find out more via our tweets hashtaged #EGI_in_numbers.

Applications for the EOSC Early Adopter Programme are open!

EOSC offers a broad spectrum of services and technologies for the research data management lifecycle, and scientific outputs like data, publications and software of pan-European relevance. The combined use of these technologies and resources can allow scientific communities to address complex scientific challenges.

The EOSC-hub project invites researchers and research communities that require the combined use of multiple services and resources to apply to the programme EOSC Early Adopter Programme. Deadline for application is 15 June 2019.

The services and resources in scope for the programme are those currently provided byEOSC-hub and its partners, namely OCRE, OpenAIRE and GÉANT.

What is in store?

The projects selected will receive for a period of 6 to 12 months:

  • Technical support from service providers to guarantee integration;
  • Access to resources such as data, applications, software, and other services from EOSC-hub providers and partners depending on the research community needs;
  • Resources up to 150 CPU cores, 300 GB of RAM, 2 TB of storage for data analysis and 10 TB for long term archiving. (If the project requires more capacity, contact the EOSC-hub team for advice at: early-adopter@mailman.eosc-hub.eu);
  • Financial support to cover travel costs to attend face-to-face meetings and other events

EOSC-hub support will not cover consumable costs or staff salaries.

How to apply

Interested parties are requested to fill an online application form on the EOSC-hub website.

More information: EOSC Early Adopter Programme

New SLA signed with Open Universe

The EGI Foundation is pleased to announce a service level agreement (SLA) between the EGI resource provider CESGA and Open Universe. The SLA is valid until May 2020.

Open Universe is an Italian science initiative with the objective of stimulating an increase in the utilisation of space science data (e.g. astrophysics, planetary science, etc.), extending the potential of scientific discovery to new participants all over the world.

A wide range of communities will benefit from Open Universe: professional scientists, citizen scientists, teachers and students. The agreement with CESGA will allow Open Universe to use EGI Cloud Compute and Online Storage services needed for their activities. In total, the CESGA provider has pledged 1 VM with 24 virtual CPU cores, 50 GB of RAM and 2 TB of storage.

Małgorzata Krakowian, Quality and Risk Manager at the EGI Foundation, mediated the agreement and says: “We are always happy to bring new research communities on board and support them with our computing services, we hope Open Universe will serve as many scientists as possible worldwide.”

The EGI Foundation is looking for its new Director!

After leading the EGI Foundation for over five years, our Managing Director Yannick Legré has announced his intention to leave by the end of this year. Yannick has made the EGI Federation into the smoothly operating e-infrastructure it is today, serving thousands of researchers in Europe and worldwide. He has turned the Amsterdam-based EGI Foundation into a stable organisation, employing over 20 people.
“There is a time for everything. There has been a time for building EGI and a time for structuring it. Now it’s time to step back and allow a new director to move EGI forward into the challenging future of the European Open Science Cloud and the consolidation it will require”, says Yannick.

The EGI Foundation is now looking for its new Director.

The primary objectives of the Director are to further develop and implement the future EGI Foundation strategy, in collaboration with the EGI Council and to prepare the grounds for a long-term sustainability of the EGI Federation. The context for the future strategy will be provided by the development of the European Open Science Cloud, in which a consolidation with other e-infrastructure providers is foreseen in order to better serve existing and new research communities in Europe.

See all the details of the role and apply by 27 June, by sending a cover letter and your CV to search-committee@egi.eu.

Full job description.

The CernVM Users Workshop

The next CernVM Users Workshop will take place at CERN from 3 to 5 June 2019.

The workshop aims at bringing together users and developers to discuss the current status of the CernVM ecosystem and the future directions.

This time, a particular focus would be put on serverless cloud computing, and defining the path for more versatile CernVM-FS publishing workflows.  Previous discussions on integration with container ecosystems (containerd, singularity, docker, kubernetes) will be continued, together with a look at new tooling targeted at HPC deployment.

As in the previous editions, external speakers will attend to speak on selected technology topics.

More information about the CernVM Users Workshop 2019, including registration, abstract submission and programme is avalaible online.

A few take-away messages from RDA’s 13th Plenary Meeting

A few take-away messages from RDA’s 13th Plenary Meeting in Philadelphia, US, written by our colleague Matthew Viljoen

 

Opening Plenary

Julia Stoyanovich welcomed everyone as the main speaker and introduced the common theme of the conference – Responsible Data – focusing on the reality of statistical bias in data-processing algorithms & its societal impact.

The speaker’s proposal to tackle this issue was by enforcing the following aspects:

  • Algorithmic transparency (not just releasing source code, which can be unnecessary and often insufficient)
  • Algorithmic transparency requires data transparency,
  • Data transparency is not synonymous with making all data public but should release it whenever possible, inc. releasing data selection, collection, pre-processing methodologies, provenance, quality info. known sources of bias, privacy preservation statistical summaries of the data.
  • Data transparency – helps prevent discrimination and enables establishment of trust.
  • Technology alone is not enough. We also need regulation and civic engagement, something we should drive through engagement with the public, both technical and non-technical.

Working Group FAIR Data Maturity Model

  • The meeting gathered around 60 attendees from all over the world. The discussion went around the scope and methodology to create a common set of core assessment criteria for FAIRness via a bottom up approach: definition, development, testing and delivery.
  • We continued to discuss whether this assessment should be automatic (done by machines/algorithms) or manual, using examples of the volume of data & practicality considerations. We agreed that the scope should be cross-disciplinary rather than domain specific.

Joint Meeting: From observational data to information

  • Two Information Groups were introduced and included aspects of bringing raw data to usable information for research, and VREs, Science Gateways or Virtual Labs. These were followed by a number of different talks including one that raised much interest about a method for Annotating Data (implemented using a MongoDB separate from the data) and tools for measuring quality of preserved data.
  • I gave a presentation introducing the SKA/AENEAS project and the plans for a Science Gateway and agreed with the Chairs of the groups to continue engagement until the end of the project.

Meeting: Assessing FAIR Data Policy Implementation in Health Research

  • The meeting introduced the new FAIR4Health project and the landscape analysis it will conduct to assess FAIR implementation in health research.
  • I mentioned the importance of engaging with existing eInfrastructures to help most important outputs, workable implementations, e.g. ELIXIR and AAI aspects

Find out more about the RDA event, programme and media.

CERN School of Computing 2019: Cluj-Napoca, Romania

The CERN School of Computing 2019 will take place on September 15-28 in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

The two-week programme consists of more than 50 hours of lectures and hands-on exercises, covering three main themes: physics computing, software engineering, and data technologies. However, it’s not all study – the social programme is also a vital part of the CERN School. There will be plenty opportunities to explore and experience some of Romania’s great cultural, historical and natural attractions, and profit from Cluj-Napoca’s location in heart of the Transylvania region.
Please see more information on the event.

The programme of the EGI Conference 2019 is now online

The EGI Conference 2019 will take place in Amsterdam, 6-8 May 2019, as a forum for the EGI Community to discuss the state of the art of the EGI Federation, future and emerging trends, requirements and experiences: national, local and at the level of the data centre.

The programme is now online and is focused on a mix of topical sessions, workshops and space for debate on topics related to the EGI Federation. The event will be an opportunity to celebrate 15 years of Operations of what is now the EGI Federation.

The EGI Conference will also host:

Registration to the event is open until 19 April.

We look forward to seeing everyone in Amsterdam!

A new paper on the EGI Applications on Demand service was published

A new paper describing the EGI Applications on Demand (AoD) service was published in the journal Future Generation Computer Systems.

Applications on Demand is designed for individual researchers, small research teams and early-phase research infrastructures to support them in their scientific data analysis activities.

The service is available through the EGI Marketplace and allows a user-friendly access to a growing number of scientific applications, tools and application hosting frameworks.

Since the debut of the service in April 2017, the EGI team has received 57 service access requests from users located in 15 countries. These requests came from researchers working in computer sciences, biological and chemical sciences, social aciences, agronomy and health sciences. For example, scientist Simone Ronsisvalle at the University of Catania, used the AoD service to support her research on opioid analgesics. A scientific journal manuscript on this topic is now in preparation.

Read the full paper on the EGI Applications on Demand service.

Find out more about AoD.