Category Archives: research

New publication: EGI & Research Infrastructures

We are happy to announce that we published a new collection of use cases highlighting EGI’s work with research infrastructures (RIs).

The new publication highlights the diversity of challenges that research communities encounter in their work and the abundant support that the EGI community offers to tackle these challenges.

EGI is working closely with research communities to co-develop new solutions for their scientific problems.

For example, the European Space Agency connected two of their thematic exploitation platforms to the EGI Federated Cloud to support their computational needs. The MoBrain collaboration partnered with several EGI data centres to use High-Throughput Computing and Online Storage services needed to develop webportals for life and brain scientists worldwide. The DARIAH research infrastructure is using EGI Cloud Compute resources to support a new science gateway that makes digital applications available to arts and humanities scholars.

The achievements in the new publication would not be possible without the collaborative work of the EGI Federated data centres, the EGI Federated Cloud providers, and the involved research communities.

We would like to thank everyone for their support and dedication in making this publication happen.

Take-away from the conference on “European Research Excellence – Impact and Value for Society”

Today, I attended the conference “European Research Excellence – Impact and Value for Society” in Tallinn, organised under the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The conference attracted more than 300 delegates with the aim to demonstrate to policymakers that excellent research is essential to addressing Europe’s challenges and for increasing competitiveness.

Commissioner Moedas opened the event with a video message remarking the importance of developing an European innovation ecosystem and set missions or challenges that people can relate to. Mark Ferguson reported that the most cited articles worldwide have at least an author from the industry and international collaborations and referenced a framework to evaluate impact of any scientific project. He also reported that most of the research results are incremental while disruptive results are less frequent.

Both Valeria Nicolosi and Nicole Grobert, both winners of an ERC grant along their carriers, brought their experience of combining basic research and innovation with industry, reinforcing the message that synergies are possible and should be pursued. Nevertheless, they remarked that basic research needs time and freedom, also, developing relationship with industry, listening to them and understanding their problems is essential. This aspect links to a comment from Pim Tuyls, who stressed the importance of ensuring that there is money for research but also for the next step, to make sure innovation from research results take place in Europe.

Luc Soete reported that one of the differences between Europe and other innovative regions is a low level of investment in R&D from the private sector, and this is caused by different factors such as a still fragmented market and a lack of tax breaks. He referred to the cost of non-Europe in innovation. It was suggested that a possible way to better engage industry is to work on big societal challenges like decarbonisation of society or clean water could stimulate the R&D in the private sector.

Another key message that got my attention is the importance of involving more actors from social science and humanities in the research and innovation activities. Disruptive changes affect our daily life and being able to evaluate the impact so to prepare for the effects is vital for ensuring the maximisation of value for the society. Trust on science by society is also a gap that needs to be closed or at least shortened and a speaker pointed out at a recent article appeared in the Financial Times: “How experts can regain our trust“.

The conference concluded with the announcement of a declaration, the Tallinn Call for Action composed of three main pillars: investment, impact and trust. Robert-Jan Smits, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, endorsed the declaration and commented that one of the key challenges is now to convince the Ministries of Finance to support it.

Above, I shared my main take-aways of a very rich and greatly organised event. This is the first Presidency led by Estonia and you could perceive the energy and passion infused in it to make it a success.

 

 

Take-away from the conference on “European Research Excellence – Impact and Value for Society”

Today, I attended the conference “European Research Excellence – Impact and Value for Society” in Tallinn, organised under the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The conference attracted more than 300 delegates with the aim to demonstrate to policymakers that excellent research is essential to addressing Europe’s challenges and for increasing competitiveness.

Commissioner Moedas opened the event with a video message remarking the importance of developing an European innovation ecosystem and set missions or challenges that people can relate to. Mark Ferguson reported that the most cited articles worldwide have at least an author from the industry and international collaborations and referenced a framework to evaluate impact of any scientific project. He also reported that most of the research results are incremental while disruptive results are less frequent.

Both Valeria Nicolosi and Nicole Grobert, both winners of an ERC grant along their carriers, brought their experience of combining basic research and innovation with industry, reinforcing the message that synergies are possible and should be pursued. Nevertheless, they remarked that basic research needs time and freedom, also, developing relationship with industry, listening to them and understanding their problems is essential. This aspect links to a comment from Pim Tuyls, who stressed the importance of ensuring that there is money for research but also for the next step, to make sure innovation from research results take place in Europe.

Luc Soete reported that one of the differences between Europe and other innovative regions is a low level of investment in R&D from the private sector, and this is caused by different factors such as a still fragmented market and a lack of tax breaks. He referred to the cost of non-Europe in innovation. It was suggested that a possible way to better engage industry is to work on big societal challenges like decarbonisation of society or clean water could stimulate the R&D in the private sector.

Another key message that got my attention is the importance of involving more actors from social science and humanities in the research and innovation activities. Disruptive changes affect our daily life and being able to evaluate the impact so to prepare for the effects is vital for ensuring the maximisation of value for the society. Trust on science by society is also a gap that needs to be closed or at least shortened and a speaker pointed out at a recent article appeared in the Financial Times: “How experts can regain our trust“.

The conference concluded with the announcement of a declaration, the Tallinn Call for Action composed of three main pillars: investment, impact and trust. Robert-Jan Smits, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, endorsed the declaration and commented that one of the key challenges is now to convince the Ministries of Finance to support it.

Above, I shared my main take-aways of a very rich and greatly organised event. This is the first Presidency led by Estonia and you could perceive the energy and passion infused in it to make it a success.

 

 

Registration for DI4R 2017 is now open

The Digital Infrastructures for Research conference will be held this year in Brussels, Belgium, from 30 November to 1 December 2017. The event will take place at the Square Meeting Centre, and is organised jointly by EGI, EUDAT, GÉANT, OpenAIRE, PRACE and RDA Europe.

Europe’s leading e-infrastructures invite all researchers, developers and service providers for two days of brainstorming and discussions under the theme “Connecting the building blocks for Open Science”.

The 2017 edition of the DI4R conference will showcase the policies, processes, best practices, data and services that, leveraging today’s initiatives – national, regional, European and international – are the building blocks of the European Open Science Cloud and European Data Infrastructure.

The main goal of DI4R 2017 is to demonstrate how open science, higher education and innovators can benefit from these building blocks, and ultimately to advance integration and cooperation between initiatives. The event is collocated with the EOSCpilot 1st Stakeholder Engagement Event taking place on the 28 and 29 November 2017.

Online registration for the event is now open.

Early-bird rates are available until 30 October.

Second International Open Research Cloud Congress

The Second International Open Research Cloud Congress will take place in Amsterdam, from 27 to 29 of September and will continue an open dialogue between research communities, policy agencies and industry about the need for international cooperation of private and public clouds supporting scientific research.

The inaugural International Open Research Cloud Congress, held on 11 to 12 of May 2017 in Boston, kicked off the drafting of an open research cloud declaration that describes the conventions that the community is prepared to adopt and support for enabling international scientific research computing on clouds. This second edition will continue the effort to reach the consensus of delivering a final declaration.

See the details of the event.

EGI Use Cases: published today!

We are very pleased and proud to announce that we published a new compilation of our best use cases.

Our new publication showcases the diversity of the EGI-supported science as well as the magnitude of the usage of our services. From physics and astronomy to biological, health and social sciences, the EGI e-infrastructure is committed to supporting research and innovation activities.

The scientists relying on EGI services work in large international organisations, in research infrastructures, projects, university labs, or as individual researchers and their stories are highlighted in this publication.

For example, Mario Rizzi Massimo Rizzi and his colleagues at the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research used our High-Throughput Compute service to study and analyse the development of the epilepsy disease. The resources he used amount to a total of 200,000 HTC jobs and helped the team to complete their research calculations in less than 48 hours.

Scientist Athena Vakali and her colleagues at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece used Cloud Compute to work on a new model of detecting social media trends.

The Belle II experiment is an example of a large international collaboration that is looking into the imbalance of matter and antimatter in our Universe and relies on EGI High-Throughput Compute and Storage services to analyse and share their data.

The research stories in our new publication would not have been possible without the resources provided by the EGI Federated data centres and the EGI Federated Cloud providers.

We would like to thank all researchers that helped us preparing this publication for their collaboration and support.

EGI and GÉANT join forces to support science and innovation

As part of a long-term and ongoing policy to collaborate closely with all our e-infrastructure partners, the EGI Foundation has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with GÉANT to further develop joint efforts aimed at providing European scientists and international collaborations with sustainable services for their research efforts.

GÉANT and EGI will continue to work together across a number of areas including:

  • Joint service portfolio management and procurement
  • Interoperability and better integration of GÉANT and EGI services in the areas of network, AAI and security to benefit user communities and improve the experience and uptake of services by researchers
  • Exchange information related to long-term strategies, sustainability and business models
  • Establish and share communications, user engagement practices and training expertise to better engage with users across research communities

Yannick Legré, Managing Director of the EGI Foundation, says that “GÉANT is a solid partner of EGI and together we want to support more open science, continuously improve our services offer to the wider research community and stimulate open innovation in Europe and beyond.”

Steve Cotter, Chief Executive Officer of GÉANT adds, “An integrated e-infrastructure experience for research, education and industry is vital for Europe. GÉANT is committed to helping deliver this, and we see this as a natural next step with our strong partner EGI.”