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Announcement - ESFRI and e-IRG endorse "Blue Paper" on e-Infrastructure

Announcement - ESFRI and e-IRG endorse “Blue Paper” on e-Infrastructure

Photo courtesy of ESFRI

In October 2009 ESFRI invited the e-Infrastructure Reflection Group (e-IRG) to produce a report, or “Blue Paper”, on e-Infrastructure services, enabling more efficient e-Infrastructure support for the science that is done by the ESFRI Roadmap projects. The emerging trend of science as a trans-disciplinary phenomenon requires on the policy-level joint efforts from the enabling technology platforms experts and the developers of the pan-European and global research infrastructure organisations. This “Blue Paper” was delivered to ESFRI at the beginning of July 2010, and endorsed by the ESFRI plenum at the ESFRI delegates meeting, on Friday 24 September 2010.

“I appreciate the close cooperation between e-IRG and ESFRI and look forward for an even more intensive and broadened cooperation in the next years” says ESFRI chair Beatrix Vierkorn-Rudolph. “I am happy that we now have endorsed the ‘Blue Paper’ which provides the basis for concrete actions for including e-infrastructure issues in the ESFRI projects”.

The e-IRG “Blue Paper” provides an assessment of Europe’s e-Infrastructure service portfolio and trends, identifies the opportunities and challenges involved, and sets out policy recommendations for several key areas (such as networks, high performance computing, data management, virtualization, authentication and authorization). It focuses particularly upon common and shared infrastructure and services, and examines the ways in which ESFRI Research Infrastructures (RI) and their users can best exploit existing e-Infrastructure services to satisfy their needs. It also contains a short description of a selection of ESFRI RI projects with an emphasis on e-Infrastructure aspects.

“The ‘Blue Paper’ represents one important step on the road towards better exploitation of the opportunities presented by advanced ICT and computing for the European research communities, as exemplified by the ESFRI Research Infrastructures (RI)”, according to Neil Geddes, e-IRG delegate for the UK and chair of the Blue Paper editorial board. “The ‘Blue Paper’ gives some idea of the scope of opportunities and there is a lot to do to make concrete progress in priority areas. It is clear that the major requirement is to bring the communities together to improve their mutual understanding and collaboration.”

An efficient e-Infrastructure is an essential facilitator of research and innovation and is vital for the European Research Area (ERA). To fulfill this role, it requires close cooperation of all the actors involved. The “Blue Paper” acknowledges the importance attached to this by both ESFRI and the e-IRG, and illustrates the growing collaboration between these two groups, aimed at identifying and removing existing barriers to exploitation.

According to e-IRG Chair Leif Laaksonen, “The ‘Blue Paper’ is an important outcome of the good collaboration between the two groups. The e-IRG and ESFRI are prepared to transform the common findings stemming from the ‘Blue Paper’ into concrete actions supporting the ESFRI Roadmap projects in contributing to the European Research Area."

The “Blue Paper” is a public document available on the e-IRG website: