10-13 November 2015
Villa Romanazzi Carducci
Europe/Rome timezone

Building Virtual Research Environments: The Lion grid Experience.

12 Nov 2015, 15:15
Federico II (Villa Romanazzi Carducci)

Federico II

Villa Romanazzi Carducci


Dr Collins Udanor (Dept. of Computer Science, University of Nigeria Nsukka, Nigeria) Dr Florence Akaneme (Dept. of Plant Science & Biotechnology, University of Nigeria Nsukka, Nigeria.)


Research & Development (R&D) statistics is one of the key indices and important component in measuring a country’s National Innovation System (NIS). The R&D landscape has changed so much within the 21st century. Many countries are categorized as developed or developing based on their ability or inability to rise with the tide of research and technological advancement. Poor research funding, chronic lack of research infrastructure, lack of appreciation of research findings and scanty information base on who is working on what or lack of collaboration remains the recurring decimal that affect the development of research in developing countries. Research in the 21st century requires skills in the area of the 4Cs of (Critical thinking and problem solving, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity and innovation), all of which are addressed by Virtual Research Environments (VREs).Virtual Research Environment is an online system that helps researchers to collaborate, by providing access to e-infrastructures and tools for simulation, data analysis and visualization, etc. In 2011, we deployed the first-ever Grid Computing e-infrastructure in Nigeria, the Lion Grid, under the HP-UNESCO Brain Gain Initiative project. This led to the building of the first VRE in Nigeria. Our VRE database has grown through workshops, demonstrations, and training close to 500 members from heterogeneous research backgrounds. The project has developed applications for the local research community, deployed existing apps for its VRE, demonstrated the use of Science Gateways and Identity providers, as well as trained hundreds of researchers and technical support staff. In this paper, we present our experiences, prospects of the VRE and future plans.

Links, references, publications, etc.

[1] Sergio G. Litewka. The Challenges of Conducting Research in Developing Countries. Washington University in St. Louis. 2011.
[2] UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Measuring R&D: Challenges faced by Developing Countries. Technical Paper N0.5, 2010.
[3] Valentine Uwakwe. Problems of Research in Developing Countries. Hyttractions, October 2012. Available at: https://hyttractions.wordpress.com/2012/10/03/problems-of-research-in-developing-countries/
[4] Leonardo Candela. Virtual Research Environment. Wikipedia online Encyclopedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/virtual_research_environment/
[5] The Role of e-Infrastructures in the Creation of Global Virtual Research Communities. European Communities, 2010
[6] Lion Grid. Available at: http://grid.unn.edu.ng
[7] Brain Gain Initiative. Available at: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/education/themes/strengthening-education-systems/higher-education/reform-and-innovation/brain-gain-initiative/
[8] Akaneme, F. I., Udanor, C. N., Nwachukwu, J., Ugwuoke, C., Okezie, C. E. A. and Ogwo, B. (2014). A Grid-enabled Application for the Simulation of Plant Tissue Culture Experiments. International Journal of Advanced Computer Science and Information Technology 3, (3), 227 – 242

Additional information

In this paper we report the work done previously and current research projects.

Primary author

Dr Collins Udanor (Dept. of Computer Science, University of Nigeria Nsukka, Nigeria)


Dr Florence Akaneme (Dept. of Plant Science & Biotechnology, University of Nigeria Nsukka, Nigeria.)

Presentation Materials