Category Archives: research

New publication: EGI-Engage Impact & Results

We are happy to announce that we released a new publication featuring the results and impact of the EGI-Engage project.

EGI-Engage lasted for 30 months, from March 2015 to August 2017, and brought together 43 partners with a mission to expand the capabilities of a backbone of federated services for compute, storage, data, communication, knowledge and expertise, complementing community-specific capabilities.

The new publication gives an overview of the EGI-Engage outcomes across Europe and in the world. The project’s impact was felt at a large scale – from diverse scientific disciplines and at all scales of the research landscape, from individual researchers to large research communities and Research Infrastructures.

The Key Exploitable Results (KERs) of the project showcase an impact in different areas such as the advancement of scientific knowledge, the adoption of digital innovation in science and the implementation of European policies.

EGI-Engage also shaped the way to the new EOSC-hub project, aimed at building the Hub: a European-level contact point for researchers and innovators to discover, access, use and reuse a broad spectrum of resources for advanced data-driven research.

We would like to thank all of the participants of EGI-Engage and the EGI community for being part of this project and all the resulting achievements.

EOSC-hub: integrated services for the European Open Science Cloud

The EC-funded project EOSC-hub project started on January 1st 2018, bringing together an extensive group of national and international service providers to create the Hub: a central contact point for European researchers and innovators to discover, access, use and reuse a broad spectrum of resources for advanced data-driven research.

The consortium of 100 partners from more than 50 countries will develop the vision of the Hub as the integration and management system of the future European Open Science Cloud. The EOSC-hub project mobilises providers from the EGI Federation, EUDAT CDI, INDIGO-DataCloud and other major European research infrastructures to deliver a common catalogue of research data, services and software for research.

For researchers, this will mean a broader access to services supporting their scientific discovery and collaboration across disciplinary and geographical boundaries.

EOSC-hub will significantly reduce the fragmentation of the IT facilities and digital tools in Europe. By bringing together a broad range of services from general and domain-specific research digital infrastructures under a common integration and operation layer, the EOSC-hub will foster new modes of working for collaborative research to deliver trusted services.

EOSC-hub will liaise closely with OpenAIRE Advance, a project set up to support the Open Access/Open Data mandates in Europe.

Tiziana Ferrari, Technical Director of the EGI Foundation and Project Coordinator, says: “I am thrilled to work for a project that is expected to lower access barriers, tackling issues such as federated identity, harmonization of service access policies, and coordinated service provisioning in Europe and beyond. With the Hub, sharing, using and reusing research data will be easier for research collaborations at all scales.”

Per Öster, Director of Research Infrastructures and Policy at CSC-IT Center for Science and Project Director, says: “Data is now in focus everywhere in research. The vision of the European Open Science Cloud, a capability to share and work with data for all research is very strong. By this project we take the first steps toward federated support of services to realise this vision.”

Giacinto Donvito, Technical Director of INDIGO-DataCloud and Technical Coordinator, says: “In EOSC-hub, we are integrating technological requirements and use cases coming from tens of Scientific Communities to facilitate how science is made, speed up adoption of innovative technologies and improve competitiveness of Europe in the exploitation of distributed data, compute and storage resources.”

More information

The project will bring together hundreds of experts working in a number of intertwined tasks covering strategy, business development, technical coordination and service management, to give a few examples.

Tiziana Ferrari, as EOSC-hub Project Coordinator, will be responsible for the overall project management including administrative and financial management within and across work packages. The Project Management Board, under the coordination of Per Öster, Project Director, will supervise the project strategy and implementation. Giacinto Donvito will lead the Technology Committee, a body created to evolve the project’s technical roadmap and supervise the contribution to open source community projects.

The EOSC-hub project (full title: Integrating and managing services for the European Open Science Cloud) will run for 36 months, through to December 2020 with funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 777536.

Contact points

Email: info@eosc-hub.eu
EOSC-hub website: www.eosc-hub.eu (under construction)
Twitter: @eosc_eu

 

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.

Submissions

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.

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.”