Structural biology in the clouds: a 10-year-old success story

The structural biology community published an extensive presentation showcasing the successes of the 10-year-old collaboration with EGI.

The community’s MoBrain collaboration is developing online portals for life scientists worldwide and relies on High-Throughput Computing and Online Storage services provided by the EGI Federation. In total, seven EGI data centres have offered around 75 million hours of computing time and more than 50 TB storage capacity to the research collaboration.

The MoBrain portals powered by EGI resources are: HADDOCK, DisVis, AMBER, CS-Rosetta, FANTEN and PowerFit. The web portal HADDOCK, for example, has so far processed more than 198,000 submissions from over 10,000 scientists, which translates into 8 million HTC computing jobs to EGI resources per year.

More usage trends and results of the partnership are available in the presentation.

The collaboration with EGI continues at the present time with a suite of dedicated thematic services within the EOSC-hub project.

6th ENVRI week will take place in Zandvoort, Netherlands

ENVRI week is an event dedicated to environmental Research Infrastructures. It is organised twice a year, in November and in May. ENVRI week hosts ENVRIplus project related sessions as well as several other sessions targeting different groups of stakeholders.

This ENVRI week will take place in Zandvoort, Netherlands, from 14 to 18 May 2018 and will host three hands-on workshops and training events. The events are tailored to different staff working in the Research Infrastructures:

  • Training/Workshop for RI Management staff focusing on how to build a sustainable governance and funding model for research infrastructures;
  • Communications Workshop, organized for RI communication managers and officers. The WS will focus on sharing best practices and boosting the cooperation with industry by improving RI communications strategies;
  • Workshop for the RI station managers / Station Principal Investigators to share their experiences, challenges, and solutions on operating RI site.

See more information about the ENVRI week event.

Webinar: Lightweight Service Management for Research Infrastructures (The FitSM Approach)

IT Service Management is a discipline that helps to provide services focused on customer needs and in a professional manner. It is widely used in the commercial and public sectors to manage IT services of all types, but current solutions are heavyweight with high barriers to entry. This one-hour webinar will provide a clear-cut view of how service management and the lightweight approach provided by the FitSM standard are suitable for distributed and research services.

The webinar will take place Tuesday, 20 March 2018 from  to 

FitSM is a lightweight approach to professionally managing services. It brings order and traceability to a complex area and provides simple, practical support in getting started with ITSM. FitSM training and certification provide help in improving services and their management. It provides a common conceptual and process model, sets out straightforward and realistic requirements and links them to supporting materials.

This webinar will have a large discussion element of how FitSM applies to research infrastructures, including how the principles and lessons learned could apply to research infrastructures that provide services requiring physical access.

The webinar is open to anyone. Registration is not required, but recommended prior to the event.

Please find all the details on the event’s website.

3rd Call for Multi-domain Access to Environmental RIs

The ENVRIplus project launched the 3rd and final call for proposals to access European multi-disciplinary environmental research platforms.

ENVRIplus offers opportunities for free-of-charge transnational access to selected user groups to six research facilities in cross-cutting areas in Europe: athmosphere, bio-ecosphere, hydro-marine and solid earth domain.

Important dates:

Proposal deadline:  4 March 2018

Access period: 1 May – 31 December 2018

The full call description, eligibility and application process can be found on the ENVRI community platform.

Thematic CERN School of Computing 2018

The 6th Thematic CERN School of Computing (tCSC 2018) will be held in Split, Croatia from 3 to 8 June 2018.

The theme of the school is “High Throughput Distributed Processing of Future HEP Data”.

The school is organized by CERN in collaboration with the University of Split and is hosted at the Mediterranean Institute For Life Sciences Conference Centre – a historical building situated in a landscaped park on the Adriatic Sea coast, a few kilometres from the centre of Split.

tCSC 2018 is aimed at postgraduate students, engineers and scientists with a few years experience in particle physics, in computing, or in related fields. Participation is limited to 24 students. See the academic programme for more details.

Important Dates:

  • Sunday 11 March – deadline for application.
  • Monday 26 March – information about the outcome of the selection by email.
  • Friday 20 April – latest date for fees payment.

The 14th IEEE eScience Conference

The 14th IEEE Conference on eScience will take place in Amsterdam, the Netherlands from 29 October to 1 November 2018. The objective of the conefrence is to promote all aspects of eScience and its associated technologies, applications, and tools.

IEEE eScience 2018 brings together leading international researchers and research software engineers from all disciplines to present and discuss how digital technology impacts scientific practice, from the humanities to physics and from ecology to astronomy.

Key dates for contributions:

Abstract submission deadline: Friday 25 May
Full paper submission deadline: Friday 1 June
Notification of acceptance: Wednesday 15 August 2018
Camera-ready papers: Monday 17 September 2018

Please find all information regarding the calls and submission guidelines on the event’s website.

eInfraCentral state of play after one year

Last week, I attended the annual meeting of the eInfraCentral project in Brussels. During the day, we reviewed the main achievements of the first year of work: 1) a common template for describing services across e-infrastructures was agreed, 2) a beta version of the portal to browse and discover services was launched, 3) an initial collection of 69 services was collected from the initial set of e-Infrastructure service providers.

During the event, we also discussed about the next steps for the coming months. Many activities are in the pipeline and include the gathering of service descriptions from many other e-infrastructure initiatives, the improvements of the portal (e.g. adding both push/pull programmatic interfaces to update the content), and the organisation of promotional events to raise the awareness of the portal for both users and providers.

With the start of the EOSC-hub project, positioning and collaboration areas were also identified to ensure synergies across the two initiatives. While the eInfraCentral portal can act as the “Trivago” for e-Infrastructure services, the planned EOSC-hub marketplace can the “” for a number of affiliated providers.

More was done and more is expected in the upcoming period. If you want to know more, read the second edition of the eInfraCentral newslette and follow the project Twitter feed.

Joint XDC-DEEP kick-off meeting: 23-25 January, Bologna

The joint eXtreme-DataCloud (XDC) project and DEEP-HybridDataCloud kickoff meeting, hosted by INFN, will take place in Bologna (Italy) on 23-25 January, 2018 at the CNR Conference Center.

This kick-off meeting will be the first opportunity for the two projects communities to meet and start planning their activities for the coming years. The programme features a plenary session on January 24th morning to present the two initiatives to a wider public, including user communities not directly involved and e-infrastructure providers interested in the projects outcomes.

Registration is free of charge, but mandatory.

See the agenda of the meeting.

DIRAC Training: 25-26 January in Toulouse, France

The DIRAC training is organised by France Grilles from 25 to 26 January, in Toulouse, France.

The aim of the training is to enable trainees to gain experience and familiarise themselves with the DIRAC service offered by France Grilles.

The DIRAC trainers are experts who are members of the DIRAC development team and/or administrators of the shared DIRAC service.
Instructions will be given to trainees upon registration.

More details, schedule and registration are to be found on the event’s webpage.

International Workshop on Big Data Analytics

The Big Data Analytics Workshop (BigDAW18) will take place in Italy, from 8 to 10 May 2018.

Aim of the workshop

Managing and processing large volumes of data, or “Big Data”, and gaining meaningful insights is a significant challenge facing the distributed computing community. As a consequence, many businesses are demanding large-scale streaming data analytics. This has a significant impact on a wide range of domains, including health care, biomedical research, internet searches, finance and business informatics, and scientific computing.

The purpose of this workshop is to provide a fertile ground for collaboration among research institutions and industries in the fields of analytics, machine learning, and high-performance computing.


Authors are invited to submit full papers to the workshop. Full papers must be submitted through the workshop submission site and should not exceed six double-column pages in ACM conference format. This limit includes figures, tables, and references.

Important dates

Duration: 8 May to 10 May 2018

Submission deadline: 10 February 2018

Decision notification: 14 March 2018

Camera-ready copy: 28 March 2018

Find all the details on the workshop’s website.