Last week to register for the Community Forum

Registration for the EGI Community Forum ends this Friday 23rd March 2012.

The event will be held in in Garching, Munich (26-30 March), in conjunction with the 2nd European Middleware Initiative (EMI) Technical Conference. A draft programme for the event is now available (http://go.egi.eu/cf12).

Nearly 170 submissions have been accepted into a technical programme that focuses at its core on the sustainability of the coalition of resources that make up ‘the grid’. More than just an opportunity to share knowledge, the event will be an important milestone for the research community to state its needs and its vision for the future of our e-infrastructure and for EGI.eu as its evolving coordinating body.

In addition to the scientific and technical sessions, the Community Forum will feature an exhibition floor with booths, poster presentations and demonstrations. Details can be found at: http://cf2012.egi.eu/exhibition/posters_and_demos.html

More information

Last week to register for the Community Forum

Registration for the EGI Community Forum ends this Friday 23rd March 2012.

The event will be held in in Garching, Munich (26-30 March), in conjunction with the 2nd European Middleware Initiative (EMI) Technical Conference. A draft programme for the event is now available (http://go.egi.eu/cf12).

Nearly 170 submissions have been accepted into a technical programme that focuses at its core on the sustainability of the coalition of resources that make up ‘the grid’. More than just an opportunity to share knowledge, the event will be an important milestone for the research community to state its needs and its vision for the future of our e-infrastructure and for EGI.eu as its evolving coordinating body.

In addition to the scientific and technical sessions, the Community Forum will feature an exhibition floor with booths, poster presentations and demonstrations. Details can be found at: http://cf2012.egi.eu/exhibition/posters_and_demos.html

More information

The Netherlands eScience Center funds new projects

The Netherlands eScience Center (NLeSC) has allocated € 5.5 million for its first set of collaborative e-science projects, following a peer-reviewed call. The funding will cover eleven new initiatives in the fields prioritised by the NLeSC, ranging from Astronomy and e-Ecology, to Life Science and e-Humanities.

The NLeSC started operations in July 2011 to support and reinforce collaborative, multidisciplinary and data-intensive research through creative and innovative use of ICT. To this aim, the NLeSC collaborates with scientific research groups from both academia and industry to conduct e-science projects in the natural sciences, humanities and social sciences, balancing short-term results and the development of a longer-term strategy.

Jacob de Vlieg, CEO of the NLeSC said: “The completion of this call and the initiation of our first collaborative projects is a major milestone for the development of eScience in the Netherlands, for the Netherlands eScience Center as a standing national organization and for the implementation of our vision on eScience, or enhanced Science as we refer to it. Science is at the heart of everything NLeSC does and these projects are core to this.”

More information

The Netherlands eScience Center funds new projects

The Netherlands eScience Center (NLeSC) has allocated € 5.5 million for its first set of collaborative e-science projects, following a peer-reviewed call. The funding will cover eleven new initiatives in the fields prioritised by the NLeSC, ranging from Astronomy and e-Ecology, to Life Science and e-Humanities.

The NLeSC started operations in July 2011 to support and reinforce collaborative, multidisciplinary and data-intensive research through creative and innovative use of ICT. To this aim, the NLeSC collaborates with scientific research groups from both academia and industry to conduct e-science projects in the natural sciences, humanities and social sciences, balancing short-term results and the development of a longer-term strategy.

Jacob de Vlieg, CEO of the NLeSC said: “The completion of this call and the initiation of our first collaborative projects is a major milestone for the development of eScience in the Netherlands, for the Netherlands eScience Center as a standing national organization and for the implementation of our vision on eScience, or enhanced Science as we refer to it. Science is at the heart of everything NLeSC does and these projects are core to this.”

More information

The new strategy plan is available for comments

Over the last three months, EGI has been reflecting on its strategy as Europe moves towards the ambitious aims outlined in the European Commission's Europe 2020 vision. Following review and feedback from the EGI-InSPIRE Project Management Board, the EGI strategy is now available for your feedback and comment.

The EGI’s strategic plan outlines the initiatives that can take place within the EGI community over the next two years, supported through the FP7-funded EGI-InSPIRE project in the first instance, and subsequent related projects. In future, with further investment from the EC and national funding bodies, these will develop EGI’s strengths in:

  • European-wide coordination and interaction with research communities and national resource infrastructure providers.

  • Coordination, maintenance, operation and delivery of an open uniform European-wide federated production infrastructure

  • Developing and promoting technologies for federating the emerging cloud resources

  • Supporting the integration and operation of scalable interdisciplinary Virtual Research Environments personalised to each research community

Our strategy is to evolve EGI’s activities to be a key enabling foundation of the online European Research Area (ERA), supported by continued investment from national and European funding bodies. The online ERA is part of the European Commission’s Innovation Union initiative.

EGI's contribution will be to provide the transnational multi-disciplinary research collaborations within the ERA with a world class e-Infrastructure, able to support innovative collaborative virtual laboratories for simulation, data sharing and data analysis activities that is sustainable for decades to come.

The EGI strategic plan is targeted at European and national policy makers and senior managers in resource providers, virtual research communities and other stakeholders within the EGI ecosystem. Additional information will be provided in the EGI Technical Roadmap (which will detail work taking place within the remainder of the EGI-InSPIRE project), and in a document titled ‘Evolving the EGI Business Model’ (which will focus on the sustainability options of individual components in the ecosystem).
 

The new strategy plan is available for comments

Over the last three months, EGI has been reflecting on its strategy as Europe moves towards the ambitious aims outlined in the European Commission's Europe 2020 vision. Following review and feedback from the EGI-InSPIRE Project Management Board, the EGI strategy is now available for your feedback and comment.

The EGI’s strategic plan outlines the initiatives that can take place within the EGI community over the next two years, supported through the FP7-funded EGI-InSPIRE project in the first instance, and subsequent related projects. In future, with further investment from the EC and national funding bodies, these will develop EGI’s strengths in:

  • European-wide coordination and interaction with research communities and national resource infrastructure providers.

  • Coordination, maintenance, operation and delivery of an open uniform European-wide federated production infrastructure

  • Developing and promoting technologies for federating the emerging cloud resources

  • Supporting the integration and operation of scalable interdisciplinary Virtual Research Environments personalised to each research community

Our strategy is to evolve EGI’s activities to be a key enabling foundation of the online European Research Area (ERA), supported by continued investment from national and European funding bodies. The online ERA is part of the European Commission’s Innovation Union initiative.

EGI's contribution will be to provide the transnational multi-disciplinary research collaborations within the ERA with a world class e-Infrastructure, able to support innovative collaborative virtual laboratories for simulation, data sharing and data analysis activities that is sustainable for decades to come.

The EGI strategic plan is targeted at European and national policy makers and senior managers in resource providers, virtual research communities and other stakeholders within the EGI ecosystem. Additional information will be provided in the EGI Technical Roadmap (which will detail work taking place within the remainder of the EGI-InSPIRE project), and in a document titled ‘Evolving the EGI Business Model’ (which will focus on the sustainability options of individual components in the ecosystem).
 

Big science teams up with business to kick-start Science Cloud

(1 March 2012) Geneva, Switzerland - Today a consortium of leading IT providers and three of Europe’s biggest research centres (CERN, EMBL and ESA) announced a partnership to launch a European cloud computing platform. ‘Helix Nebula ‐ the Science Cloud’, will support the massive IT requirements of European scientists, and become available to governmental organisations and industry after an initial pilot phase.

The partnership is working to establish a sustainable European cloud computing infrastructure, supported by industrial partners, which will provide stable computing capacities and services that elastically meet demand.

This pan‐European partnership across academia and industry is in line with the Digital Agenda of the European Commission and will foster innovation for science and create new commercial markets.

During a two‐year pilot phase, Helix Nebula will be deployed and tested based on three flagship projects proposed by CERN, EMBL and ESA: to accelerate the search for the elusive Higgs particle, to boost large‐scale genomic analyses in biomedical research, and support research into natural disasters.

First, CERN, the European laboratory for particle physics, will have access to more computing power to process data from the international ATLAS experiment at its Large Hadron Collider accelerator.

“CERN’s computing capacity needs to keep‐up with the enormous amount of data coming from the Large Hadron Collider and we see Helix Nebula‐ the Science Cloud as a great way of working with industry to meet this challenge,” said Frédéric Hemmer, head of CERN’s IT department.

Second, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) is setting up a new service to simplify the analysis of large genomes, such as those from mammals, allowing a deeper insight into evolution and biodiversity across a range of organisms.

“The quantities of genomic sequence data are vast and the needs for high performance computing infrastructures and bioinformatics expertise to analyse these data pose a challenge for many laboratories. EMBL’s novel cloud‐based whole‐genome‐assembly and annotation pipeline involves expertise from the Genomics Core facility in Germany, EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute, and EMBL Heidelberg's IT Services. It will allow scientists, at EMBL and around the world, to overcome these hurdles and provide the right infrastructure on demand,” said Rupert Lueck, head of IT services at EMBL.

Third, the European Space Agency (ESA), in partnership with the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) in France, and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) is collaborating with the National Research Council (CNR) in Italy, to create an Earth observation platform focusing on earthquake and volcano research. This undertaking is done in the framework of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), a voluntary partnership of governments and international organisations.

Volker Liebig, ESA Director for Earth observation programmes, said, “Helix Nebula‐ the Science Cloud is a partnership with the potential to support an utmost exploitation of ESA satellite data, as well as to bring other communities on board to better understand the geophysical phenomena of our planet.”

The commercial partners are Atos, Capgemini, CloudSigma, Interoute, Logica, Orange Business Services, SAP, SixSq, Telefonica, Terradue, Thales, The Server Labs and T‐Systems, along with the Cloud Security Alliance, the OpenNebula Project and the European Grid Infrastructure (EGI.eu).

They are working together to establish a federated and secure high‐performance computing cloud platform. More scientific organisations and service providers are welcome to join Helix Nebula the Science Cloud. For more details and updates about Helix Nebula ‐ the Science Cloud, please visit us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/HelixNebula.TheScienceCloud), follow‐us on Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/HelixNebulaSC) or send an email to contact@helix‐nebula.eu.

Big science teams up with business to kick-start Science Cloud

(1 March 2012) Geneva, Switzerland - Today a consortium of leading IT providers and three of Europe’s biggest research centres (CERN, EMBL and ESA) announced a partnership to launch a European cloud computing platform. ‘Helix Nebula ‐ the Science Cloud’, will support the massive IT requirements of European scientists, and become available to governmental organisations and industry after an initial pilot phase.

The partnership is working to establish a sustainable European cloud computing infrastructure, supported by industrial partners, which will provide stable computing capacities and services that elastically meet demand.

This pan‐European partnership across academia and industry is in line with the Digital Agenda of the European Commission and will foster innovation for science and create new commercial markets.

During a two‐year pilot phase, Helix Nebula will be deployed and tested based on three flagship projects proposed by CERN, EMBL and ESA: to accelerate the search for the elusive Higgs particle, to boost large‐scale genomic analyses in biomedical research, and support research into natural disasters.

First, CERN, the European laboratory for particle physics, will have access to more computing power to process data from the international ATLAS experiment at its Large Hadron Collider accelerator.

“CERN’s computing capacity needs to keep‐up with the enormous amount of data coming from the Large Hadron Collider and we see Helix Nebula‐ the Science Cloud as a great way of working with industry to meet this challenge,” said Frédéric Hemmer, head of CERN’s IT department.

Second, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) is setting up a new service to simplify the analysis of large genomes, such as those from mammals, allowing a deeper insight into evolution and biodiversity across a range of organisms.

“The quantities of genomic sequence data are vast and the needs for high performance computing infrastructures and bioinformatics expertise to analyse these data pose a challenge for many laboratories. EMBL’s novel cloud‐based whole‐genome‐assembly and annotation pipeline involves expertise from the Genomics Core facility in Germany, EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute, and EMBL Heidelberg's IT Services. It will allow scientists, at EMBL and around the world, to overcome these hurdles and provide the right infrastructure on demand,” said Rupert Lueck, head of IT services at EMBL.

Third, the European Space Agency (ESA), in partnership with the Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) in France, and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) is collaborating with the National Research Council (CNR) in Italy, to create an Earth observation platform focusing on earthquake and volcano research. This undertaking is done in the framework of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO), a voluntary partnership of governments and international organisations.

Volker Liebig, ESA Director for Earth observation programmes, said, “Helix Nebula‐ the Science Cloud is a partnership with the potential to support an utmost exploitation of ESA satellite data, as well as to bring other communities on board to better understand the geophysical phenomena of our planet.”

The commercial partners are Atos, Capgemini, CloudSigma, Interoute, Logica, Orange Business Services, SAP, SixSq, Telefonica, Terradue, Thales, The Server Labs and T‐Systems, along with the Cloud Security Alliance, the OpenNebula Project and the European Grid Infrastructure (EGI.eu).

They are working together to establish a federated and secure high‐performance computing cloud platform. More scientific organisations and service providers are welcome to join Helix Nebula the Science Cloud. For more details and updates about Helix Nebula ‐ the Science Cloud, please visit us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/HelixNebula.TheScienceCloud), follow‐us on Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/HelixNebulaSC) or send an email to contact@helix‐nebula.eu.

EGI video about cone snails premieres in Taipei

Stories from the grid - episode 1 (video)

Today the European Grid Infrastructure (EGI) launched their new online video series “Stories from the grid” at the International Symposium on Grids and Clouds in Taipei. The first episode is about how a component of the toxic venom used by the cone snail is being modified using the aid of computer models to help produce new anaesthetics and alleviate the muscle spasms caused by the condition dystonia.

EGI is a pan-European project providing access to computing resources for researchers through a distributed computing infrastructure called a grid. The diverse range of science supported by EGI is being showcased in the series of short online videos. Each episode focuses on a particular piece of research that would have been near impossible without EGI.

The first video looks at how Henry Hocking from the CONCO project (see www.conco.eu) has used the grid to analyse naturally occurring molecules in venoms used by marine snails to immobilise their prey. They hope to be able to use their work to synthesise an artificial molecule that specifically targets and blocks the transmission of pain signals to create better muscle relaxants that have anaesthetic properties. “At the end of the day we just want to get our work done,” explains Henry, ”but science has changed and computing has become integral to what we do on a daily basis. Without the resources provided through EGI we would not be at the stage we are today.“

EGI prides itself on providing expert computing without the need to be a computer expert. So to help CONCO use the grid, EGI worked closely with the WeNMR project. “We have been working on the European grid since 2009,” explains Alexandre Bonvin from WeNMR, who is also featured in the video. “In that time we have developed tools to ensure that scientists coming to us get up and running as soon as possible. They are not interested in having to spend weeks getting to grips with a new technology, they just want their results.”

The video was premiered during Alexandre Bonvin’s keynote speech at the International Symposium on Grids and Clouds in Taipei this morning. The first episode of Stories from the grid, “The cone snail and the search for powerful new anaesthetics”, can be seen at http://go.egi.eu/conco