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Published January 30, 2023 | Version 1.0
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e-IRG White Paper 2022

  • 1. Technische Universität Wien (TU Wien)
  • 2. Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF)
  • 3. Chalmers University
  • 4. CESNET
  • 5. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
  • 6. Leibniz Universität Hannover

Description

Since the introduction of the e-Infrastructure Commons in the e-IRG Roadmap 2012, some progress has been made towards an integrated e-Infrastructure landscape, most notably with the implementation of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and the federation of generic (horizontal) and thematic (vertical) services from e-Infrastructures and Research Infrastructures accordingly. Still, progress is slow given the complex European research ecosystem spanning institutional, national regional and European components, at different maturity levels and speeds. The current cooperation and coordination among European e-Infrastructure initiatives and related organisations under the EOSC undertaking or other efforts, is ad-hoc and not properly framed. e-IRG sees a clear need to enhance the coordination and cooperation among major European e-Infrastructure initiatives, which are an indispensable part of EOSC. This will eventually benefit the end users who will gradually enjoy well-coordinated, joint, integrated user-friendly services, easing their work, so that they can focus on their (cross-)disciplinary research, and not the infrastructures and tools.

The objective of this e-IRG White Paper 2022 is to provide recommendations to the different stakeholders to strengthen the communication between e-Infrastructure providers at European level and their cooperation towards an enhanced and coordinated strategy setting. The need for better coordination across national and European levels has also been emphasised by the European Competitiveness Council on several of their Conclusions and Recommendations in the last years, calling for an increased cooperation between research infrastructures, e-Infrastructures and stakeholders, including through EOSC. With its White Paper 2022, e-IRG thus aims to bridge the identified gaps in terms of cooperation and coordination across the major European e-Infrastructure components, reflecting on the identified issues and providing concrete proposals. 

Although exchanges between the major European e-Infrastructures actors are already taking place at project-based or other ad-hoc levels, e-IRG believes that a regular, well-framed and high-level coordination at strategy level would be beneficial for the ecosystem, as it would ensure a steady dialogue and flow of information and common understanding across all actors.

An umbrella e-Infrastructure Forum as already recommended in  the e-IRG White Paper 2013 and e-IRG Roadmap 2016 (or other lightweight structure) with representatives of the major e-Infrastructure initiatives will enable the above mentioned flow of information, steady dialogue and common understanding and be able to foresee and proactively resolve issues and frictions among e-Infrastructures. The e-Infrastructure Forum or Assembly should facilitate high-level strategy-setting, community building, and coordination of the entire e-Infrastructure landscape. Some form of representation of users is also favoured in the Forum, possibly advisory and 

domain-agnostic/neutral, such as via ESFRI Clusters that covers all thematic domains or other structures. 

Besides EOSC, EuroHPC is the other major recent undertaking building a set of word-class High Performance Computing (HPC) systems across Europe, which already yielded impressive results as several EuroHPC systems have already been inaugurated and are featuring in the first places of the Top500 and Green500 benchmarks. e-IRG sees that coordination between EuroHPC, EOSC and related e-Infrastructures would be required in the near future. Interoperability between the EOSC and EuroHPC federations would also provide strong benefits for the end users of computing and data services. It is thus recommended to invite EuroHPC to join the envisaged coordination and collaboration structure(s) in the near future.  

Furthermore, e-IRG emphasised the importance of having transparent funding streams, costs and business models of each e-Infrastructure provider to facilitate their long-term sustainability. 

In the preparation of this document, e-IRG, as an independent body of representatives from European countries, has initiated the discussion between all stakeholders and is aiming at liaising as a neutral platform with the corresponding bodies, offering its expertise and high-level advice for the alleviation of fragmentation towards the envisaged integrated and holistic e-Infrastructure environment, facilitating such a cooperation and coordination framework.

Files

e-IRG White Paper 2022 - Part A - Main Part.pdf

Additional details

Funding

e-IRGSP7 – e-Infrastructure Reflection Group Support Programme 7 101057802
European Commission