Happy holidays and all the best for 2021!

As the year is coming to an end, we are taking some time to reflect. 2020 has been one for the books, that is for sure. Many of the activities had to be done differently. No physical events and meetings, less-to-no travels, and instead a high increase in screentime. All in all, we have managed to book many successes and continue our work with great progress, for which we are very greatful.

“2020 was a year of tremendous success.” says Tiziana Ferrari, Director EGI Foundation. “We feel honoured for the trust received from 5 new incoming members: IS-ENES/CMCC, the EISCAT Scientific Association, EMSO ERIC, SeaDataNet/MARIS and SZTAKI. Furthermore, on the demand side 32 new research communities started their production activities on the EGI Federation.” Tiziana continues with an exciting outlook on 2021. “Co-design, research and innovation were boosted by 7 new H2020 research projects and 12 additional EU funded projects will start in 2021, including our project EGI-ACE (“EGI Advanced Computing for EOSC”) that will lay the foundation of the EOSC compute platform.”

“In a year of great challenges for humanity, we are grateful for the dedication of the whole EGI Community and the commitment of our scientific collaborations.” Tiziana mentions gratefully. “Knowing that the EGI Federation is an instrument to enable science and tackle today’s societal issues, makes us even more enthusiastic and motivated  than ever. We look to 2021 with excitement for all the opportunities it will bring, but also with hope for a safer and peaceful time for all of us.”

The EGI Foundation staff wishes all of you and your loved ones the best for the upcoming festivities, hoping 2021 will be a year of prosperity and peace for all of you.

EUHubs4Data first Open Call for SMEs and Start ups!

The EUHubs4Data project vision is to establish a European federation of Big Data Digital Innovation Hubs which will be based on the premise “global catalogue, local offer” and which will ensure to SMEs and start-ups access to a global catalogue of data sources and federated data driven services

This vision will start to become a reality right now! The EUHubs4Data project has just launched the first open call aimed at supporting SMEs and start-ups in their data-driven innovation journey. This call will finance cross-border experiments from SMEs and start-ups leveraging the EUHubs4Data data and service catalogues, which are available at https://euhubs4data.eu/datasets and https://euhubs4data.eu/services.

These catalogues compile exciting data sources and services which are made available by the Digital Innovation Hubs participating in the project. Each experiment leveraging these catalogues will receive hands-on support and coaching from at least two Digital Innovation Hubs and will benefit from 60.000 euro of grants.

To participate in the open calls, applicants are invited to submit their proposal in English through the F6S platform (https://www.f6s.com/EUHubs4Data) by the 29th of January 2021 at noon (Brussels time).  SMEs and teams of individuals can submit more than one proposal if they wish so, but only one proposal per SME or team will be funded. The maximum duration of each experiment is of 9 months. 

If you are interested to hear more, you can still register to one of the two information sessions which have been organised for potential applicants:

  • First information session – 18/12/2020 – 12h (Brussels time). Registration here.
  • Second information session – 12/01/2021 – 12h (Brussels time). Registration here.

All information on the first open call as well as all supporting material is available https://euhubs4data.eu/1st-open-call/. In case of questions on the open call, please contact opencall@euhubs4data.eu


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EGI upgraded to Gold i-Space label by the Big Data Value Association (BDVA)

We are quite proud to announce that the EGI Federation has been upgraded to the Gold label i-Space recognition. BDVA i-Spaces are trusted data incubators targeted to accelerate take up of data driven innovation in commercial sectors as well as in nonprofit domains. I-Spaces serve as European hubs for Big Data research and innovation activities helping to drive forward Big Data adoption.

The EGI Federation actually first obtained a Bronze label in 2017, then reached Silver in 2018 and now Gold in 2020.  We would like to give a special thanks to Daniel Alonso and BDVA for having pushed us through the years to continuously improve and will be sure to continue to work hard in order to retain our position amongst the others.

For the EGI Federation Members, this prize means:

  • Being part of a recognized innovation community as a quality billboard
  • Increased visibility in the EU Big Data community, especially SMEs and innovative actors
  • Possibility to connect and benchmark to other i-Space practices
  • Access to European funding instruments to enable innovation and federation of existing i-Spaces.
    • One result has already been in the participation of the successfully awarded EUHubs4Data project that kicked off in Sept 2020.

See more information on BDVA i-Space labels and the EUH4Data project:

EGI Federation Annual Report 2019 now online

We are proud to present you the 2019 EGI Federation annual report, which you can easily access by a simple click on the button below. We took our time to revamp the design and making sure we collected and presented the most important highlights as comprehensive as possible.

In the report you can find inspiring and motivating words from the EGI Council chair and the Foundation director, an update of the outputs of services, the impact of our work, business and security activities, and much more.

Without further ado, we present to you the annual report 2019.

EGI and PolicyCloud collaborate to improve policy development

EGI recently signed an agreement (SLA) with the PolicyCloud project.

What is PolicyCloud? The 3-year project aims to harness the potential of digitisation, big data and cloud technologies to improve the creation and implementation of policy. PolicyCloud will address challenges faced by many businesses and public administrations of improving how they make policy decisions by accessing and using data.

The EGI provider RECAS-BARI is offering Cloud Compute and Online Storage services to support the project in achieving its pursuits. The total resources amount to 64v CPU cores, 304 GB memory and 2TB storage capacity.

Find out more by reading the full agreement.

ECRIN-ERIC and EGI sign agreement

We are happy to announce a new service agreement with ECRIN-ERIC.

ECRIN is a non-profit organisation that links scientific partners and networks across Europe to facilitate multinational clinical research. ECRIN provides a pathway through Europe’s fragmented health and legal systems with its pan-European infrastructure designed to unlock access to patients and medical expertise.

How will EGI support ECRIN’s mission? The EGI provider RECAS-BARI will pledge a total of 24v CPU cores, 80 GB and 7 TB of Cloud Compute and Online Storage resources to support the NGO’s activities. The agreement is valid until March 2021 with the possibility of extension.

Our Community Support Lead, Giuseppe La Rocca, shares his excitement for the agreement: “I’m proud of the collaboration with ECRIN-ERIC and of being able to support life sciences and medical progress with our EGI computing platforms and resources and hoping the partnership will continue in the future”.

We are also proud of the following SLA extensions: GEO-DAB, ENVRI-FAIR, OpenBioMap, EMSO-ERIC, BioISI, EMPHASIS as we continue to put our services at the heart of international scientific development.

New participants joining the EGI Federation in 2021

Exciting news! We are happy to announce that from the start of next year EISCAT and EMSO – two major research infrastructures on the ESFRI roadmap – will be joining the EGI Federation. Both international research infrastructures will support the EGI Federation’s vision to provide all researchers with seamless access to services, resources and expertise to collaborate and conduct world-class research and innovation. Last but not least, we are proud to announce that the German NGI, represented by the Gauß-Allianz will become a full member.

EMSO ERIC

What is EMSO? The European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and water column Observatory is the consortium of European research infrastructures that aims to explore the the water column, seafloor and sub-seafloor of seas, to gain a better understanding of phenomena happening within and below them, and to explain the critical role that these phenomena play in the broader Earth systems. EMSO provides high-quality data and knowledge to study environmental processes that involve complex interactions among the geosphere, biosphere, and hydrosphere.

EMSO consists of a system of regional facilities placed at key sites around Europe, from North East to the Atlantic, through the Mediterranean, to the Black Sea. Observatories are platforms equipped with multiple sensors, placed along the water column and on the seafloor. They constantly measure different biogeochemical and physical parameters, that address natural hazards, climate change and marine ecosystems.

“We are very proud of this milestone” says Tiziana Ferrari – EGI.eu Director. “By joining the EGI Federation, EMSO will receive expert support to portal applications and platforms to the EGI Federated Cloud, and with EMSO requirements the EGI Federation will grow its research cloud services thanks to co-design activities dedicated to the technical needs of marine science”.

“Working with EGI is an excellent opportunity for EMSO ERIC to provide a quality leap to our community of users and perfectly complement our current capabilities. EGI’s resources will sustain marine environmental services, such as climate change, natural hazards, and biodiversity, with enormous impact and added value that affect all of our distributed infrastructures. We look forward to working with EGI as we move into full operation.” – Juanjo Dañobeitia, Director General EMSO ERIC

EISCAT

The European Incoherent Scatter Scientific Association (EISCAT) exists to provide scientists with access to incoherent scatter radar facilities of the highest technical standard. The association operates four radar antenna sites to enable research on the ionosphere and the upper atmosphere. EISCAT 3D is the new research radar of the collaboration and is a ESFRI Landmark since 2018, consisting of 10,000 antenna elements that are expected to start their observations in 2023 and remain in operation for at least 30 years. EISCAT 3D will require a large amount of computing and storage resources and the ability to federate data and run applications across multiple sites in Europe, China, Japan and South Korea. 

By becoming a member, EISCAT will receive dedicated support and development effort to customize the DIRAC interware to its specific needs, and integrate additional services like EGI Check-in and EGI notebooks.

“The EISCAT membership follows a long term collaboration that started with the EGI-Engage project and continued thanks to the support of the EC Horizon Europe programme with EOSC-hub. The success of the EGI-EISCAT collaboration demonstrates the importance of co-design and technical support to enable scientific collaborations with complex digital needs ” says Tiziana Ferrari. 

“At EISCAT we look forward to working within the EGI Federation to provide our user community with more seamless access to data and processing resources.  Secure user and operator authentication in a multinational environment will be especially important to the EISCAT_3D science when that system comes fully online.” – Craig Heinselman, Director EISCAT

Within the EGI Council EMSO ERIC and EISCAT will join other international scientific collaborations, namely CERN (High Energy Physics), IS-ENES (Climate Modelling) and SeaDataNet AISBL (Marine Science).

Horizon Cloud Summit 2020

The Horizon Cloud Summit 2020 will take place online from 25 to 26 November, aiming at gathering researchers and innovators, cloud stakeholders, as well as cloud initiatives and projects to be on top of the relevant technology and market developments. The main objectives are to:

  • Discuss and shape the strategic Agenda for Research, Innovation and Deployment of Cloud Computing in Europe as a crucial step to guide future public and private investments, by identifying the main research, innovation and deployment opportunities and challenges.
  • Share information on the latest advancements in the European Cloud Computing landscape, including relevant research initiatives, regulations, innovation, market opportunities, emerging use cases, as well as markets and business models.
  • Increase collaboration among Cloud stakeholders and foster the creation of synergies across the European Cloud Computing ecosystem, that will ensure its growth.

Registration is open and free!

Biggest attendance in 10 years of EGI events

We counted a total of 768 registrations at our EGI Conference 2020, a number we haven’t seen before! Of course, this is due to it being virtual for the first time, but we were still surprised! To have double the participants than we normally does give quite an indication of the attractiveness of our programme, at least that is what we like to think!

The 3-day virtual conference had a packed programme, with topics ranging from technical developments to the Global Open Science Cloud. Serving a variety of participants, coming from all over the world with a total of 53 countries represented. Not only did we have a diverse crowd in terms of geo location, but we also saw a great representation of different job roles ranging from researchers to sysadmins. See a few of our key metrics in the image below.

The succes of our conference would never have been the same if it wasn’t for our EGI Foundation colleagues who we called our ‘Zoom Heroes’ making sure no technical issues remained unsolved, the programme committee who did a marvelous job on making sure we would have an incredible programme, and of course the enthusiastic speakers, presenters and participants!

We hope that we will be able to physically meet each other at the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam, and if not, we’re at least a little more experienced in organising a virtual conference!

Did you attend the conference? Could we please ask 5 minutes of your time to fill in the feedback survey for us to become even better in the following events?

EOSC Synergy Dutch Data Landscape Workshop @ EGI Conference 2020

A few weeks ago, the EOSC Synergy project published landscape analysis reports. In co-location with the EGI Conference 2020, they will zoom in to one of the national results, namely that of the Netherlands, where our conference was initially planned for this fall. Unfortunately the conference had to be turned into a virtual one, and so our workshop saw a similar fate. Luckily, we have internet connectivity on our side.

On Thursday 5 november, just one day after the conference programme, there will be an EOSC Synergy Dutch Data Landscape Workshop in a joint effort with EGI and DANS. The aim of this workshop is to present the findings of the landscape reports, zooming in on the Dutch report in particular, to validate these results, and to discuss how researchers can be best provided with the data services and digital infrastructure that meet their demands.

Got your attention? Register to the workshop through the EGI Conference 2020 registration form and visit the dedicated Indico workshop page for the programme and further details.