The 1st round of the EUH4D Federation expansion was a success

Full article available on the EUH4D website.

The European Commision and in particular the EUHubs4Data Federation aims to equal regional access to digitalisation measures by all firms. For achieving this, the EUH4D project has a goal of expanding the federation of data driven innovation hubs to additional regions after the 1-year set-up and implementation phase. As a result of an open call, 18 most promising located Digital Innovation Hubs joined the federation, complementing the existing 12 EUH4D partner-DIHs. 

The new DIHs significantly expand the EUH4D service offering, internationally, domain-specifically and, of course, technologically. All these different enhancements will already come into play in the next two open-calls for experiments published by EUHubs4Data, enabling a variety of SMEs to conduct data-driven AI experiments around their services and products for which there are only a few funding opportunities so far. But it is precisely these riskier experiments that are needed to develop novel AI solutions in Europe and test them for market maturity. The open call for DIHs was launched in April this year, and was combined with the annual i-Space label call, published by the BDVA, to ensure the maturity and capabilities of the applying DIHs. After the expansion, the Federation has increased from 18 to 30 covered European regions located in 20 different countries. The selected DIHs are incorporated into the Federation in two stages: the first 9 hubs already in 2021 and the remaining 9 in 2022. 

The first of the two-remaining open calls for experiments will be launched in December this year and will allow existing and new DIHs in the federation to tender their services across Europe. By working with the small-sizes companies and other DIHs, the project is fostering the emergence of a vibrant innovation data-driven ecosystem within the EU.

 Among many other important aspects, the Federation is also working on a technical interoperability solution for allow data sharing. EUHubs4Data is actively contributing to the data driven digitization of Europe and the establishing of European common Data Spaces. 

More information on the EUHubs4Data project

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Blue-Cloud strengthening interoperability with EOSC via the EGI Check-in service

Blue-Cloud is the thematic entry point for marine research in the growing European Open Science Cloud (EOSC).

This prominent role is underpinned by ensuring interoperability between the Blue-Cloud technical framework and key elements of the EOSC ecosystem, such as the EOSC Portal. The service platform features a range of services and resources that can be used for undertaking world-class science in EOSC by involving leading operational marine research infrastructures and e-infrastructures.

D4Science in the EGI Federation

The technical framework consists of two main components, the Data Discovery and Access Service (DDAS) and the Virtual Research Environment (VRE), which are being fine tuned in collaboration with the marine research community in Europe and beyond.

The VRE is hosted on the D4Science infrastructure, and its core services are used for building and running Virtual Labs.

The D4Science platform has always been well-embedded in the international research community, allowing for seamless access via a range of digital identities. Recently, the VRE has been made accessible via the popular EGI federation of identities – see EGI Check-in – one of the main logins for the wider EOSC ecosystem, and as a consequence Blue-Cloud users can use their Blue-Cloud credentials to access any other EOSC service which recognises the EGI federation of identities.  

This marked another step towards making the Blue-Cloud services easier to reach and useful for the marine research community.

EUH4D celebrates one year of activities!

The EUHubs4Data project officially started in September 2020 and is now celebrating its first year of activities! 

Among other achievements, during this first year the project has published the first version of its federated catalogue of datasets and services, launched two open calls to select new DIHs and the experiments for its data driven innovation programme, co-organised two main events and developed many collaboration opportunities to boost the European data ecosystem forward!


Since its launch, the project has been following its mission of establishing a European Federation of data-driven Innovation Hubs that allows SMEs and start-ups to have access to a federated catalogue of data-driven services, and to contribute to the creation of a common European data space.

Read the full article on the EUHubs4Data website.

EGI Conference 2021: registration is open and preliminary programme is available

Registration for the EGI Conference 2021 is now open and the programme is online!

#EGI2021 is taking place from October 19th until 21st with the theme: “Beyond the Horizon: Shaping the Digital Future”.

At this edition of EGI Conference, we invite the community to work together in shaping the digital future with advanced computing services. Together, we will showcase new services and tools, investigate technical innovations, explore business opportunities and strategic and policy-related initiatives.

The programme will highlight workshops, demonstrations and presentations across four tracks, with one track being fully dedicated to the European Open Science Cloud.

This year also marks 50 years of both the French National Institute of Nuclear and Particle Physics (IN2P3) and the Computing Centre at the University of Zagreb (SRCE), which will have dedicated celebratory keynotes on 19 October.

Following the conference, a co-located workshop on the Global Open Science Cloud (GOSC) will take place on 22 October – you can choose to participate while filling in the event’s registration form! Another complimentary element is the “EGI 101” session which will take place the day before the conference. This session presents all you need to know about EGI, from the community to the federation, in a nutshell!

Last but not least – we will have morning yoga sessions to help you start the conference days in the most zen mood! Will you join us? Then have a look at the programme and register now to attend!

New service level agreements

We are pleased to announce the following new service level agreements:

EISCAT

EISCAT_3D will be the world’s leading facility for research of the upper atmosphere and the near Earth space or the geospace environment. EISCAT_3D is included on the ESFRI roadmap and will be a world-leading international research infrastructure to study the Earth’s atmosphere and to investigate how it is coupled to space. To support its mission, the EGI Federation is pledging the following services: Cloud Compute, Workload Manager, Online Storage, Notebooks and Check-in from providers TR-FC1-ULAKBIM (Turkey) and CESNET-MCC (Czech Republic).

Binareé Oy

Binareé Oy is a recent spin-off from the University of Jyväskylä (Finland), doing research and development in embedded device and IoT security, Binaré offers both professional services and an automated analysis platform to meet various needs for IoT security. EGI is supporting the SME through the EUHubs4Data project, offering Cloud Compute and Online Storage services from the INFN-Cloud Bari provider.

Cos4Cloud

Cos4Cloud is a European Horizon 2020 project to boost citizen science technologies. Cos4Cloud is now using EGI Cloud Compute and Online Storage services from the IFCA-LCG2 provider.

C-SCALE

C-SCALE project aims at enhancing the EOSC Portal with pan-European federated data and computing infrastructure services for Copernicus. EGI is supporting one of the project’s use cases – Aquamonitor – with Online Storage, Cloud Compute and High-Throughput Compute services from NCG-INGRID-PT (Portugal) and INFN-CLOUD-BARI (Italy) providers.

New Dutch supercomputer opens in Amsterdam

A new Dutch supercomputer was inaugurated in Amsterdam, at Science Park. The supercomputer, named Snellius, is operated by SURF, the collaborative organisation for ICT in Dutch education and research.

Snellius can perform up to 14 billion calculations per second! This makes it the most powerful high-performance computing system in the Netherlands and it means that researchers will now be able to tackle even more scientific challenges, and faster.

Researchers’ need for computing power, data storage and processing is growing exponentially”, says Walter Lioen, Research Services Manager at SURF. The system must be suitable for all fields of science, from astronomy and research into climate change to medical and social sciences. In addition, it will be possible to expand the supercomputer flexibly in the future.”

Speaking at the opening, Ingrid van Engelshoven, Minister of Education, Culture and Science adds: “This national supercomputer offers the possibility to perform complex calculations that give us more insight into how to tackle major issues. This essential scientific infrastructure is an enormous gain for science and for the Netherlands as a knowledge country. My compliments to SURF and the scientific community.”

Queen Máxima of the Netherlands was present at the event to inaugurate the new supercomputer.

Learn more on the opening.

A federation of cloud resources beyond Europe

Integration of China’s CSTCloud with the EGI Federation has been recently completed. CSTCloud is a certified provider of the federation and meets all the operational tests for production usage.   

Operated by the Computer Network Information Center (CNIC) of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), CSTCloud is a national infrastructure for CAS scientific communities and China’s top research. The design of the CSTCloud is based on the principle of ‘openness and sharing’. It aims to develop an open architecture that is capable of integrating various national and international computing resources in order to support multidisciplinary open science research. CSTCloud provides computing facilities for Chinese advanced research projects including CASEarch, CAS Space Science Missions, and research related with big facilities or observation stations such as the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) and the Large-High-Altitude Air Shower Observatory (LHAASO). 

The integration work is delivered under the EGI-ACE international cloud integration task force. There have been many challenges — different technical environments, different development culture, limited documentation, no previous examples, etc. 

It has taken a number of months of effort and people from different organisations and teams are involved. Particularly, we are grateful to Professor Jianhui Li’s team in CNIC, including the CNIC Cloud team (Haiming Zhang, Zuliang Guo, and Xiangguang Zheng), the CNIC AAI team (Yihua Zheng and Taotao Shi), and the CNIC Project Management team (Lili Zhang). Thanks to the EGI teams who provide dedicated supports, including the EGI Federated Cloud team (Enol Fernandez), Check-In team (Nicolas Liampotis, Nick Evangelou, and Valeria Ardizzone), and EGI Community support team (Yin Chen and Giuseppe La Rocca). 

This achievement contributes to the EGI-ACE’s objective — to realize the Global Open Science Cloud (GOSC) by extending EGI service providers from outside Europe, in China, South-Africa, and USA. 

CNIC is the first Federated Cloud provider outside Europe. It provides opportunities for testing cross continental resource federation and service delivery“ says Enol Fernández, EGI Cloud Manager.

“The EGI-CNIC cloud federation takes a consolidated step forward for the exploration of infrastructure-level collaboration. And it is also a showcase following the UNESCO open science recommendation” adds Haiming ZHANG, CSTCloud Federation Manager.

In the next step, the collaboration will move on to test community use cases aiming to demonstrate the value of this global federation. Starting with EISCAT-3D, the world leading incoherent scatter radar, a test bed will be established to support the collaboration between EISCAT-3D and Chinese SYISR radar, and the piloting activities including, cross-continent e-infrastructure access and data movement, federated data processing, and data model design.     

EUH4D 1st round of experiments is on track

We are pleased to announce that the EUH4D experiments are now on track.

EUH4D experiments are a key asset of the EUHubs4Data project, as they aim to attract the demand side to the federation, showing clear examples of use and application of the federated services, datasets and trainings by SMEs and start-ups all over Europe.

But even more important, the experiments are a tangible proof of how the DIHs in the federation are collaborating on a cross-border basis, to solve real problems proposed by actors external to the consortium.

Around the experiments, the project is developing additional activities aimed to get the most value from them: exploitation of results, assessment of ethics aspects, evaluation of the impact, integration in the data management plan and dissemination and promotion of the carried out activities.

A dedicated section has already been set-up on the EUH4D webpage, where relevant information about each individual experiment can be found, as well as the resources from the federation each experiment is using.

Do not hesitate to contact the project if you want to know more about the experiments!

The June issue of the EGI Newsletter is now out!

In this issue:

Read the full newsletter.

MoU signed between EGI and the Black Sea University Network

A new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between EGI and the Black Sea Universities Network (BSUN), an initiative established in 1998 to develop a collaborative platform between the universities in the Black Sea Region of South Eastern Europe and the Caucasus region. The BSUN network includes more than 120 universities across the 12 member states of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organisation: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and Serbia.

The MoU will initially build the foundations to define a framework for long-term collaboration in order to establish interoperable and sustained e-Infrastructure services to support education and international scientific research activities. It will do this by using EGI’s expertise in federated authentication and authorization infrastructure, security and policies in order to facilitate the sharing of resources for education and research.  This work will also pave the way for involvement in European and Global initiatives such as the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and Global Open Science Cloud (GOSC).

Existing EGI initiatives, networks and NGIs within the BSUN member states will be involved in this work in order to benefit from local expertise. This will lead to stronger collaboration in the regions of South Eastern Europe and the Caucasus.