New e-ScienceBriefing on Cloud computing

Cloud computing is at the centre of the latest e-ScienceBriefing, published today by the e-ScienceTalk project.

The new installment, entitled 'Cloud Computing: What's on the horizon?', looks at the many faces and challenges of cloud computing.

The report, part of a series aimed at decisions and policy-makers, discusses the European Union's vision for cloud computing and quotes Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of the Digital Agenda, saying that Europe needs to be more than "cloud friendly" - it should be "cloud active".

The eScienceBriefing also discusses the different aspect of cloud computing and the differences between the Infrastructure, Platform and Software as Services (IaaS, PaaS and SaaS) business models, as well as the use of clouds for science and the importance of standards.

 

EGI praised in think-tank’s position paper on gender policy

The European Grid Infrastructure (EGI) has been listed as one of “the most active actors in promoting European girls and women’s advancement” in a position paper on gender and technology prepared by the European Centre for Women and Technology (ECWT).

The position paper presents the state of the art of women in technology and provided the backdrop for the Women in Science, Innovation and Technology meeting in Budapest (6-8 March 2011), a joint high-level conference organized by the Hungarian EU presidency and the European Commission’s DG INFSO.

The event highlighted the latest contributions of women in ICT, technology and innovation. The conference focused on discussing new ways to increase female presence in education, research and innovation, entrepreneurship, workforce and leadership roles.

EGI was mention in the ECTW position paper as one organization actively engaged in this goal. The paper highlights the Gender Action Plan and praises its commitment to raise awareness and collect statistics about women’s participation.

Catherine Gater, Chief Administration Officer, says: "EGI.eu is fully committed to promoting the achievements of women in Europe and to attracting talented professionals, both male and female, to drive forward the work of the European Grid Infrastructure. By supporting thousands of researchers across Europe, EGI is a key part of the Digital Agenda for Europe and will help to increase the economic health of the European Research Area."
 

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3rd Workshop on Science Gateways for Life Sciences: call for abstracts

The 3rd International Workshop on Science Gateways for Life Sciences (IWSG) invites the submission of papers until 1 April. The workshop (8-10 June; London, United Kingdom) will bring together scientists from the fields of life sciences, bioinformatics and computer science.

“The aim is to exchange experience, formulate ideas and introduce up-to-date technological advances in molecular and systems biology in the context of Science Gateways,” says workshop chair Tamas Kiss, from the University of Westminster. The programme committee welcomes abstracts on various aspects of molecular and systems biology and Science Gateways and Portals, including management of biological high-throughput data, molecular simulations for drug discovery, usability studies of life sciences portals/gateways or integration of life sciences with e-infrastructures, with an emphasis on demonstrations and success stories. Scientists with little or no training in computer science will not be at a loss. “Science gateways hide the complexity of the [underlying computer] infrastructure from the scientist,” says Kiss, adding that life science researchers are especially welcome: “the solutions presented on the workshop are targeted towards the scientific community and not towards computer experts. The workshop, hosted by the University of Westminster, will be a multidisciplinary event that provides a unique opportunity for life scientists to meet computer scientists, application and gateway developers who specifically develop solutions for their community. “Life scientists will learn about the latest products and developments in the area of life science-specific gateways,” says Kiss. “Gateway and application developers will have the opportunity to meet the end-users and collect requirements or establish collaborations.”

  • Deadline for abstract submission: 8 April

  • More information available at the workshop's webpage

3rd Workshop on Science Gateways for Life Sciences: call for abstracts

The 3rd International Workshop on Science Gateways for Life Sciences (IWSG) invites the submission of papers until 1 April. The workshop (8-10 June; London, United Kingdom) will bring together scientists from the fields of life sciences, bioinformatics and computer science.

“The aim is to exchange experience, formulate ideas and introduce up-to-date technological advances in molecular and systems biology in the context of Science Gateways,” says workshop chair Tamas Kiss, from the University of Westminster. The programme committee welcomes abstracts on various aspects of molecular and systems biology and Science Gateways and Portals, including management of biological high-throughput data, molecular simulations for drug discovery, usability studies of life sciences portals/gateways or integration of life sciences with e-infrastructures, with an emphasis on demonstrations and success stories. Scientists with little or no training in computer science will not be at a loss. “Science gateways hide the complexity of the [underlying computer] infrastructure from the scientist,” says Kiss, adding that life science researchers are especially welcome: “the solutions presented on the workshop are targeted towards the scientific community and not towards computer experts. The workshop, hosted by the University of Westminster, will be a multidisciplinary event that provides a unique opportunity for life scientists to meet computer scientists, application and gateway developers who specifically develop solutions for their community. “Life scientists will learn about the latest products and developments in the area of life science-specific gateways,” says Kiss. “Gateway and application developers will have the opportunity to meet the end-users and collect requirements or establish collaborations.”

  • Deadline for abstract submission: 8 April

  • More information available at the workshop's webpage

First keynote speakers for the User Forum, announced

The organisers of the EGI 2011 User Forum (11-14 April) have announced the first two keynote speakers invited for the event in Vilnius, Lithuania.

They are:

  • Steve Rawlings, an astrophysicist based at the University of Oxford and involved in the development of the Square Kilometre Array telescope, which will use a distributed network of individual radio telescopes to give the effective capacity of a very large telescope. He will talk about the data processing challenges it will provide for the e-Infrastructure community.

  • Ruth Pordes, executive director of the Open Science Grid will discuss some of the initiatives taking place with the USA’s National Science Foundation (NSF) Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation (SI2) program and how ‘Scientific Software Innovation Institutes’ can help the provision of cyber-infrastructures such as Open Science Grid and potentially EGI.

The deadline for early-bird registration has also been extended and discounted fees will be available until 4 March, this Friday.

The keynotes will be only a part of a packed programme of oral presentations. The talks are organised into six tracks:

  • The EMI track brings an overview of the new EMI-1 software release, as well as an outline of the plans for common execution service, data and storage solutions, quality assurance procedures and adoption of standards.

  • The User Support Services sessions will showcase the services provided by EGI.eu and its partners, as well as the domain-specific services offered by various communities.

  • The User Environments track describes a myriad of scientific gateways and portal technologies currently deployed, in addition to applications, tools and programming libraries that can simplify access to distributed resources.

  • The Virtualisation and Cloud Computing sessions will give an overview of the technologies and user experiences coming from European and national activities in this area.

  • The Technologies for Distributed Computing talks will highlight recent progress in interoperability and challenges in providing federated access to e-Infrastructures.

  • The Data Management track reviews the solutions coming from the WLCG community.
     

First keynote speakers for the User Forum, announced

The organisers of the EGI 2011 User Forum (11-14 April) have announced the first two keynote speakers invited for the event in Vilnius, Lithuania.

They are:

  • Steve Rawlings, an astrophysicist based at the University of Oxford and involved in the development of the Square Kilometre Array telescope, which will use a distributed network of individual radio telescopes to give the effective capacity of a very large telescope. He will talk about the data processing challenges it will provide for the e-Infrastructure community.

  • Ruth Pordes, executive director of the Open Science Grid will discuss some of the initiatives taking place with the USA’s National Science Foundation (NSF) Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation (SI2) program and how ‘Scientific Software Innovation Institutes’ can help the provision of cyber-infrastructures such as Open Science Grid and potentially EGI.

The deadline for early-bird registration has also been extended and discounted fees will be available until 4 March, this Friday.

The keynotes will be only a part of a packed programme of oral presentations. The talks are organised into six tracks:

  • The EMI track brings an overview of the new EMI-1 software release, as well as an outline of the plans for common execution service, data and storage solutions, quality assurance procedures and adoption of standards.

  • The User Support Services sessions will showcase the services provided by EGI.eu and its partners, as well as the domain-specific services offered by various communities.

  • The User Environments track describes a myriad of scientific gateways and portal technologies currently deployed, in addition to applications, tools and programming libraries that can simplify access to distributed resources.

  • The Virtualisation and Cloud Computing sessions will give an overview of the technologies and user experiences coming from European and national activities in this area.

  • The Technologies for Distributed Computing talks will highlight recent progress in interoperability and challenges in providing federated access to e-Infrastructures.

  • The Data Management track reviews the solutions coming from the WLCG community.
     

ELIXIR is one step closer to a life science infrastructure

The European Molecular Biology Laboratory’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), a partner of the EGI-InSPIRE project, has announced that funding for the construction of the ELIXIR infrastructure has been earmarked by the UK’s Large Facilities Capital Fund.

ELIXIR – the European Life-science Infrastructure for Biological Information – is one of the 44 ESFRI projects. Its goal is to support research in the life sciences and to facilitate knowledge transfer to researchers in the medical and environmental sciences.

Professor Janet Thornton, Director of EMBL-EBI and coordinator of ELIXIR, said: “By providing public access to the wealth of knowledge generated by the global research community, we will empower researchers in academia and industry to solve some of society’s most pressing problems.”

“ELIXIR is an ESFRI infrastructure of global significance with probably the largest number of users,” says Andrew Lyall, ELIXIR’s project manager.

The project was launched in 2007 with funds from the European Commission’s FP7 capacities programme and brings together 32 European life science organisations from 14 countries. Now in the fourth year of its preparatory phase, the project is entering a crucial phase: “we are hoping to start the construction later this year,” adds Lyall.

This large-scale initiative will provide the facilities necessary for Europe’s life science researchers to share, analyse and protect Europe’s rapidly growing store of information about living systems.

ELIXIR’s central hub will be hosted at EMBL-EBI in Hinxton, near Cambridge in the UK.
 

ELIXIR is one step closer to a life science infrastructure

The European Molecular Biology Laboratory’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), a partner of the EGI-InSPIRE project, has announced that funding for the construction of the ELIXIR infrastructure has been earmarked by the UK’s Large Facilities Capital Fund.

ELIXIR – the European Life-science Infrastructure for Biological Information – is one of the 44 ESFRI projects. Its goal is to support research in the life sciences and to facilitate knowledge transfer to researchers in the medical and environmental sciences.

Professor Janet Thornton, Director of EMBL-EBI and coordinator of ELIXIR, said: “By providing public access to the wealth of knowledge generated by the global research community, we will empower researchers in academia and industry to solve some of society’s most pressing problems.”

“ELIXIR is an ESFRI infrastructure of global significance with probably the largest number of users,” says Andrew Lyall, ELIXIR’s project manager.

The project was launched in 2007 with funds from the European Commission’s FP7 capacities programme and brings together 32 European life science organisations from 14 countries. Now in the fourth year of its preparatory phase, the project is entering a crucial phase: “we are hoping to start the construction later this year,” adds Lyall.

This large-scale initiative will provide the facilities necessary for Europe’s life science researchers to share, analyse and protect Europe’s rapidly growing store of information about living systems.

ELIXIR’s central hub will be hosted at EMBL-EBI in Hinxton, near Cambridge in the UK.
 

Last week to register for the User Forum with early bird fees

Early bird registration for the EGI User Forum at discounted fees ends in 28 February.

The User Forum will be held in Vilnius (11-14 April), in conjunction with the European Middleware Initiative (EMI) Technical Conference. A draft programme for the event is now available.

The programme features four days packed with presentations, workshops, demonstrations and tutorials, starting at 9:00 am on Monday 11 April. The event will cover how users are making the most out of the infrastructure and how the infrastructure is providing support to the different communities.

EMI will introduce its new middleware release – dubbed EMI-1 – during a dedicated track, followed by tutorials and a ‘meet the experts’ session.

In addition to the scientific and technical sessions, the User Forum will feature an exhibition floor with booths, poster presentations and demonstrations of the latest grid applications to science. Examples include:

  • The DECIDE project will showcase diagnostic tools available to support medical doctors to spot ailments and diseases

  • The WeNMR infrastructure will present its web portals to potential users

  • g-INFO portal for monitoring Influenza A on the grid

Discounted rates end on 28 February, although normal registration for the event will be possible until 1 April.

More information: