NGS has funds for an additional year

We are delighted to announce that JISC will continue to fund the National Grid Service (NGS) until 31 July 2012. This will allow the NGS to carry on supporting its broad user base across the UK and to strengthen their links into Europe and beyond. We will not only be able to support users but to also develop further the essential relationship that we have with our member institutions. This will include further roadshows and outreach activities at universities and research institutions that have a significant current or prospective user base, including current user experiences and training events for getting started..

During the coming period we will continue to actively work with large international projects with bases in the UK, for example ELIXIR, Lifewatch, SKA and CLARIN. We recently held two workshops to gather their ongoing e-infrastructure requirements, to ensure that the UK can support their ongoing needs and remain a leader in Europe.

Beginning in April 2011, the NGS moved to a new model of service. A new policy was introduced offering all NGS users a moderate allocation of compute resources for free, a lifeline for pump priming novel projects and for early career researchers who might otherwise struggle to receive resources directly from grants. The NGS has been working with larger projects and individuals with more significant requirements and can now offer competitively priced compute and data services through its partner sites.

This phase of the NGS also includes the availability of central services so that remote sites are able to easily monitor, account and control the user base for their services when these users come not only from their own institution but from collaborating institutions. These services are particularly targeted towards the larger national and international projects of which the UK is a significant partner.

David Wallom, Technical Director said “This extension is a further demonstration of the importance of a core research computing service available at a national level, supporting projects from the large international infrastructures through to the small single researcher activity. The NGS supports the federation of resources between institutions and the central services which are essential to avoid duplication of effort in larger projects.”

If you are interested in purchasing resources or services from the NGS, please contact the NGS helpdesk (support@grid-support.ac.uk).
 

Federated Clouds Task Force is starting up

The goal to integrate virtualised resources in the European Grid Infrastructure (EGI) is one step closer. On Tuesday 9 August the Technology Coordination Board (TCB) gave a mandate to the community to create the EGI Federated Clouds Task Force.

Over the next 18 months, the task force will work with the community to develop a ‘blueprint’ for EGI resource centres that wish to securely federate and share their virtualised environments as part of the production infrastructure. Other goals include:

  • Define and prototype solutions for monitoring, accounting and advertising through the information services virtualised resources

  • Investigate and analyse requirements

  • Provide feedback to relevant technology providers (both within and external to the TCB)

  • Identify issues that need to be addressed by other areas of EGI (e.g. policy, operations, support & dissemination)

The task force will also work closely with user communities willing to become early adopters of the resulting virtualised infrastructure to help prioritise its development.

Michel Drescher, Technology Manager at EGI.eu explains: “The idea is to produce a blueprint document with advice and, where available full documentation, to resource centres and users on how to engage with the federated virtualised environment.” The blueprint will be made available on the EGI Wiki.

“The task force will seek to find out what resource centres actually need to start their own virtualised resources,” Drescher adds. “While expanding the test bed, the task force will provide best practices, recommendations, and documentation for user communities, resource centres and software providers on how to engage with EGI in a federated virtualised infrastructure.”

The EGI Federated Clouds Task Force is looking for active members that wish to contribute their knowledge, resources and software to set up a test bed for a federated virtualised infrastructure in EGI:

  • If you are looking to become an active member of EGI's virtualisation efforts then contact fedcloud-tf@mailman.egi.eu.

  • If you are interested in contributing to the virtualisation discussion or would like to keep updated on ongoing activities, feel free to use or join cloud-discuss@mailman.egi.eu.

More information

Federated Clouds Task Force is starting up

The goal to integrate virtualised resources in the European Grid Infrastructure (EGI) is one step closer. On Tuesday 9 August the Technology Coordination Board (TCB) gave a mandate to the community to create the EGI Federated Clouds Task Force.

Over the next 18 months, the task force will work with the community to develop a ‘blueprint’ for EGI resource centres that wish to securely federate and share their virtualised environments as part of the production infrastructure. Other goals include:

  • Define and prototype solutions for monitoring, accounting and advertising through the information services virtualised resources

  • Investigate and analyse requirements

  • Provide feedback to relevant technology providers (both within and external to the TCB)

  • Identify issues that need to be addressed by other areas of EGI (e.g. policy, operations, support & dissemination)

The task force will also work closely with user communities willing to become early adopters of the resulting virtualised infrastructure to help prioritise its development.

Michel Drescher, Technology Manager at EGI.eu explains: “The idea is to produce a blueprint document with advice and, where available full documentation, to resource centres and users on how to engage with the federated virtualised environment.” The blueprint will be made available on the EGI Wiki.

“The task force will seek to find out what resource centres actually need to start their own virtualised resources,” Drescher adds. “While expanding the test bed, the task force will provide best practices, recommendations, and documentation for user communities, resource centres and software providers on how to engage with EGI in a federated virtualised infrastructure.”

The EGI Federated Clouds Task Force is looking for active members that wish to contribute their knowledge, resources and software to set up a test bed for a federated virtualised infrastructure in EGI:

  • If you are looking to become an active member of EGI's virtualisation efforts then contact fedcloud-tf@mailman.egi.eu.

  • If you are interested in contributing to the virtualisation discussion or would like to keep updated on ongoing activities, feel free to use or join cloud-discuss@mailman.egi.eu.

More information

The Summer 2011 newsletter is now available

Inspired newsletter: Siummer 2011

The Summer 2011 issue of the EGI Inspired newsletter was published last Friday, 5 August, and is available online and in pdf format.

This issue's features:

If you want to contribute with ideas, suggestions or stories to the newsletter don't forget to let us know at press@egi.eu
 

The Summer 2011 newsletter is now available

Inspired newsletter: Siummer 2011

The Summer 2011 issue of the EGI Inspired newsletter was published last Friday, 5 August, and is available online and in pdf format.

This issue's features:

If you want to contribute with ideas, suggestions or stories to the newsletter don't forget to let us know at press@egi.eu
 

EU announces prize for women innovators

The European Commission has launched a contest to recognise and reward women that have created outstanding innovations and developed their ideas from drawing board to the market.

The EU Prize for Women Innovators will be awarded to three women entrepreneurs, who were at some point during their careers beneficiaries of funding for projects under the Framework Programme (FP) or the Competitive and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP).

The idea behind the prize is to raise awareness of the crucial role innovation plays in modern life and highlight valuable contributions from women researchers. The Commission hopes that recognising the work of female entrepreneurs will inspire other women to follow suit.

The panel of independent judges, drawn from industry and academia, will consider innovative work in any field or business. The jury will award three prizes:

  • 1st prize: €100,000

  • 2nd prize: €50,000

  • 3rd prize: €25,000

The competition is open to women residing in a EU member state or countries associated with the FP for research. Contestants must be founders, or co-founders, of active companies registered before 1 January 2009 and with annual turnovers in excess of €100,000. Either the contestant or the company must have received funding under the FP or CIP programmes.

The deadline for applications is 20 September 2011 at 17:00 (Brussels local time). The award ceremony will take place on 5 December 2011 at the Innovation Convention organised by the European Commission in Brussels.

More information

EU announces prize for women innovators

The European Commission has launched a contest to recognise and reward women that have created outstanding innovations and developed their ideas from drawing board to the market.

The EU Prize for Women Innovators will be awarded to three women entrepreneurs, who were at some point during their careers beneficiaries of funding for projects under the Framework Programme (FP) or the Competitive and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP).

The idea behind the prize is to raise awareness of the crucial role innovation plays in modern life and highlight valuable contributions from women researchers. The Commission hopes that recognising the work of female entrepreneurs will inspire other women to follow suit.

The panel of independent judges, drawn from industry and academia, will consider innovative work in any field or business. The jury will award three prizes:

  • 1st prize: €100,000

  • 2nd prize: €50,000

  • 3rd prize: €25,000

The competition is open to women residing in a EU member state or countries associated with the FP for research. Contestants must be founders, or co-founders, of active companies registered before 1 January 2009 and with annual turnovers in excess of €100,000. Either the contestant or the company must have received funding under the FP or CIP programmes.

The deadline for applications is 20 September 2011 at 17:00 (Brussels local time). The award ceremony will take place on 5 December 2011 at the Innovation Convention organised by the European Commission in Brussels.

More information

Early bird registration for the EGI Technical Forum – one week left

Early bird registration for the EGI Technical Forum at discounted fees ends in 5 August, this Friday.

The Technical Forum will be held in Lyon (19-23 September), hosted by EGI.eu, the Computing Centre of the National Institute of Nuclear Physics and Particle Physics (CC-IN2P3) and France Grilles, the French National Grid Initiative. A draft programme for the event is now available.

The event will be co-located with the Open Grid Forum, Grid 2011, GlobusEUROPE and the French Grid Day. It will provide a unique opportunity to appreciate the current developments of e-Infrastructure in Europe and the standards development activity and longer-term computer science research being undertaken in this diverse and exciting field.

Confirmed keynote speakers include:

  • Alex Szalay, an astrophysicist based at Johns Hopkins University and involved in the data analysis of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey project, will share his experiences in using high performance networks for data transfer and analysis.

  • Kostas Glinos, Head of the European Commission's GÉANT & e-Infrastructures Unit, will speak about strategies for e-Infrastructures in Europe.

  • Andrew Grimshaw from the University of Virginia and a member of the Open Grid Forum and a technical architect with the eXtreme Digital (XD) initiative that follows on from the TeraGrid project.

Early-bird registration rates end on 5 August, although normal registration for the event will be possible until 9 September.

More information

Early bird registration for the EGI Technical Forum – one week left

Early bird registration for the EGI Technical Forum at discounted fees ends in 5 August, this Friday.

The Technical Forum will be held in Lyon (19-23 September), hosted by EGI.eu, the Computing Centre of the National Institute of Nuclear Physics and Particle Physics (CC-IN2P3) and France Grilles, the French National Grid Initiative. A draft programme for the event is now available.

The event will be co-located with the Open Grid Forum, Grid 2011, GlobusEUROPE and the French Grid Day. It will provide a unique opportunity to appreciate the current developments of e-Infrastructure in Europe and the standards development activity and longer-term computer science research being undertaken in this diverse and exciting field.

Confirmed keynote speakers include:

  • Alex Szalay, an astrophysicist based at Johns Hopkins University and involved in the data analysis of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey project, will share his experiences in using high performance networks for data transfer and analysis.

  • Kostas Glinos, Head of the European Commission's GÉANT & e-Infrastructures Unit, will speak about strategies for e-Infrastructures in Europe.

  • Andrew Grimshaw from the University of Virginia and a member of the Open Grid Forum and a technical architect with the eXtreme Digital (XD) initiative that follows on from the TeraGrid project.

Early-bird registration rates end on 5 August, although normal registration for the event will be possible until 9 September.

More information

FP7 calls for proposals and the Horizon beyond

The European Commission (EC) has announced the next round of funding under the FP7 framework (the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development) – Work Programme 2012.

An indicative budget of €36 million is set aside for e-infrastructures, distributed as follows:

  • Third implementation phase of the European High Performance Computing (HPC) service PRACE (INFRA-2012-2.3.1, €20 million)

  • International cooperation with the USA on common e-infrastructure for scientific data (INFRA-2012-2.3.2, €2 million)

  • Coordination actions, conferences and studies supporting policy development, including international cooperation, for e-Infrastructures (INFRA-2012-2.3.3, €14 million)

In addition to the above, there is a €1 million budget under the FP7 Cooperation framework to identify and document the difficulties and benefits for scientists sharing, accessing and using open access primary data (ENV.2012.6.5-3: Exploring opportunities for open access to primary environmental data).

Details on the call for proposals are available from the EC website:

FP7 is the European Union's (EU) main channel for funding research and runs from 2007 to 2013. It was designed to respond to employment needs and competitiveness, and support research in priority areas.

Beyond FP7, plans for the next funding programme are already underway. It will be called ‘Horizon 2020 – the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation’. Máire Geoghegan-Quinn, Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner for the EU explains: “it is the name for the new, integrated funding system that will cover all research and innovation funding currently provided through the Framework Programme for Research and Technical Development, the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). These different types of funding will be brought together in a coherent and flexible manner.” Geoghegan-Quinn continues, “funding will focus more clearly on addressing global challenges. Needless red tape will be cut out and participation made simpler.”

The new name ‘Horizon 2020’ was arrived at by an open call for proposal in March earlier this year. Three entries from more than 160,000 ideas were shortlisted. The final winner was determined by online voting. ‘Horizon 2020’ won with a majority of 36.7% of the 8,318 total votes casted. The suggestion came from a teacher from the Czech Republic, and another teacher from Poland, who both proposed the same name.

The Horizon 2020 framework will come into effect from 1 January 2014.