Your gateway for European e-infrastructures
- Jelena Angelis (European Future Innovation System (EFIS) Centre)
eInfraCentral (EIC) is a coordination and support action funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Its mission is to ensure that by 2020 a broader and more varied set of users discovers and accesses the existing and developing e-infrastructure capacity. The underlying idea is to create a marketplace. For that, eInfraCentral has engaged in an open discussion with e-infrastructures to define a common service catalogue for their services. A beta version of the eInfraCentral Portal has been created, the gateway for users to browse the service catalogue with all the functionality that has been defined via a survey, desk research on reference marketplaces, and expert advice from European e-Infrastructure flagship initiatives. The next step is to further align the services on offer and test the portal with potential users. This session at DI4R aims to substantially contribute to this process.
The uptake of e-infrastructures by a wider set of stakeholders has been slow primarily due to issues of fragmentation of service offerings, lack of service discoverability, comprehensibility and clarity, as well as the inconsistent use of performance indicators for assessing added value and impact across different service providers at national and international level. The service harmonisation and uniform representation of e-Infrastructures have been key driving elements in the development of eInfraCentral. In order to achieve this, two main challenges need to be addressed. First, a common service catalogue requires alignment of various different e-infrastructure service offerings along a commonly agreed service description. Such an approach to defining and monitoring e-infrastructures services will increase their uptake and enhance understanding of where improvement can be made in delivering services. Secondly, for future updates of the service catalogue and related performance indicators, automatic data harvesting/exchange need to be ensured in a manner interoperable with existing service providers’ practices and data repositories.
The session will include an introductory word from the European Commission DG CNECT Unit C1 overseeing this initiative and explaining their vision for eInfraCentral. It will then proceed with presentations on the process of service alignment and a demo of the portal. The key objective of the session is to have an active discussion/interaction with the audience. eInfraCentral will prepare a list of questions to kick-start the discussion and will encourage the RIs, VREs and users to bring to the table what they want to see “in”.
This session is targeted at a) e-infrastructure services providers (pan-European, regional and national, monothematic or poly-thematic, uni-disciplinary or multi-disciplinary, etc.), b) virtual research environments (VREs), c) potential users of the e-infrastructure services.