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Content about Policy

August 27, 2014

Video courtesy the Research Data Alliance.

The RDA Fourth Plenary Meeting in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, is now just under one month away!

September 28, 2011

The next European framework funding program, which begins 2014, was introduced at the EGI Technical Forum in Lyon last week, and will set aside 80 Billion Euros for research and innovation.

September 7, 2011

“I was flabbergasted to learn that today computer science isn't even taught as standard in UK schools,” said Google Chairman, Eric Schmidt, at the Edinburgh International Television Festival last week.

November 17, 2010

Announcement - e-Science Talk is coming to ERIN4Africa, Helsinki, 9-10 December Due to the success of e-Concertation in Geneva this month, e-Science Talk has been invited to become a media partner at the 2010 Euro-Africa Week on ICT Research and e-Infrastructures, to be held in Helsinki, Finland on 7-10  December 7-10, 2010.  We will be blogging live on GridCast from this four-day conference, which is  supported by the European Commission, the African Union Commission and the Finnish government’s ministries for foreign affairs, employment and economy. The agenda is: •    7-8, Dec, 2010 — “3rd Euro-Africa Cooperation Forum on ICT Research” •    9-10, Dec, 2010 — “2010 Euro-Africa e-Infrastructures Conference”  •    10, Dec, 2010 — Lab Visits Registration is free of charge, but pre-registration is required. Registration forms are available at the following l

October 20, 2010

Announcement - ESFRI and e-IRG publish ‘Blue Paper’ on e-Infrastructure

Photo courtesy  ESFRI

The European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) and e-Infrastructure Reflection Group (e-IRG) has just released a report about the current trends, issues and policy areas for users of Europe's e-Infrastructure services.
Topics that are covered include:

e-infrastructure services to support scientific research.
e-infrastructure as a European service.
Digital research infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities.
e-science and technology infrastructure for biodiversity data and observatories.
And much more . . .

The full report can be downloaded in pdf form.

October 20, 2010

Image of the Week - e-Science at the Globe

Image courtesy e-Science Talk

Do you want to know what e-science and e-infrastructures can do for your research?
If so, an important event about e-science is happening at the CERN Globe on Thursday 4th November 2010: the 8th e-Infrastructure Concertation Meeting. This event, organized by e-Science Talk, will gather key figures in the e-infrastructures' community and discuss the evolving distributed computing landscape. The aim of the two-day event is to talk about the long-term sustainability of e-infrastructure scientific research in Europe.
Keep your schedules free for Thursday 4th and Friday 5th November 2010: watch the event live on the upcoming webcast and join the online discussions to have your say.
More information to follow shortly so keep your eyes on the web.

August 11, 2010

Feature - Education and the future: eLearning

Image courtesy GridTalk

Computers and the web have transformed homes and businesses, and could do the same for education and training. Known as “eLearning,” this can be as simple as accessing a school timetable online, or as complex as running virtual communities for sharing and creating knowledge. eLearning is defined by the European Commission (EC) as ‘the use of new multimedia technologies and the internet to improve the quality of learning by facilitating access to resources and services, as well as remote exchanges and collaboration.’ The EC sees eLearning as an integral part of education and calls for member states to include eLearning in national policies; its Lifelong Learning Program, running from 2007-2013, includes it in schools, higher education, vocational training, and adult education.Where do grids fit in?
Grid technologies help researchers worldwide collaborate, analyze data and carry out research.

June 30, 2010

Feature - Project profile: ESFRI

Image courtesy GridTalk

So, just what is ESFRI?The European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) is a European Commission initiative whose role is to guide policymaking on Research Infrastructures (RIs) in Europe. ESFRI projects span social and biomedical sciences, earth and physical sciences, energy, infrastructures and analytical facilities.
The ESFRI projects are detailed in the ESFRI Roadmap, which was last updated in 2008. A new version of this document is due to be released in 2010 and will include also input from the e-Infrastructure Reflection Group (e-IRG), a body which defines and recommends best practices for pan-European e-Infrastructure efforts.
But with such wide scope and vision, the ESFRI projects will place large demands on the storage, processing and networking services of Europe’s e-Infrastructures. To address this, the European e-Infrastructure Forum (EEF) has released a report addressing the future requiremen

January 20, 2010

Announcement - Invitation to comment on e-IRG Roadmap 2009 draft

The latest version of the e-Infrastructure Reflection Group (e-IRG) Roadmap has been released and has entered the public consultation phase. The document invites policy makers, service providers, and user communities to join in the discussion concerning the future of European e-Infrastructures.
The importance of e-Infrastructures for European research, innovation, and competitiveness is now almost universally acknowledged. Sustainable and integrated networking, grid, data, high performance, and commodity computing services will become essential tools for 40 million users in research and academia in Europe. The ongoing expansion of the e-Infrastructures user communities is already producing new and updated requirements for the common e-Infrastructures. The link between leading-edge research activities and the e-Infrastructures supporting them has been identified as an area where considerable socioeconomic benefits can be realise

November 25, 2009

Feature - The long view: A conversation with John Wood

John Wood, speaking at the EGEE 09 conference in Barcelona. Image courtesy EGEE 09

John Wood is one of the key people behind ESFRI (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures), the organization charged with creating a “roadmap” that identifies the key infrastructure needs of researchers for the next 10- to 20- years. The roughly 44 projects that ESFRI singled out are typically pan-European; they require funding from many countries to build and operate; and require cyberinfrastructure to provide access to their data for their global user communities. The projects cover all types of subject matter, from studies of language use to greenhouse-gas monitoring, and typically require research infrastructures that can handle truly vast amounts of date. (For example, the astronomy project known as the Square Kilometer Array will transport over 5,000 times the total IP traffic of the entire AT&T US backbone.)At EGEE 09

August 12, 2009

Opinion - New funding for new ideas

Image courtesy owaisk_4u, stock.xchng

A common complaint heard in Europe is that funding for research and development lags far behind that of the United States. In particular, the US public sector spends $50 billion per year in procurement for R&D, which is 20 times higher than in Europe, and accounts for 50% of the investment gap between the US and Europe. Even taking into account large investments in defense, the US expenditure in R&D is still four times higher than that of Europe.One of the engines behind this R&D expenditure in the US is the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. SBIR, established in 1982, reserves 2.5% of federal funds from the research budgets of 11 different federal agencies for use in encouraging small businesses to maximize their technological potential. These projects comprise feasibility studies and early prototype development — often the riskiest and most expensive stage of a start-up or

March 25, 2009

Feature - Standards are the GLUE 2.0 With many projects involved, a truly universal standard can be a challenge. Image courtesy of NorduGrid and Vicky White In a major step forward, the Open Grid Forum, or OGF, announced on Tuesday, March 3 that they endorsed the GLUE 2.0 specification as the international grid standard. The specification delivers the long-awaited common information model of grid entities. This document is a product of the international grid community, with contributions from the largest grid infrastructure projects and their middleware providers, such as EGEE, Open Science Grid, TeraGrid, NorduGrid, NAREGI and practical experiences from the science collaborations around the Large Hadron Collider (WLCG).“During recent years, the grid community has been working very hard to reach convergence on how grid entities are modelled and described. The non-existence of a common information model has always been a major obstacle to interoperability. The release of the GLUE 2.0 specification as an OGF proposed standard

March 18, 2009

Feature - Editorial: Women in grid computing Engineer Mayling Wong examines an accelerator  component at Fermilab. Image courtesy Fermilab Visual Media Services Editor’s note: In honor of International Women's Month, iSGTW looks at the role of women in computing, science and technology.In a November 17, 2008 story in The New York Times, “What Has Driven Women Out of Computer Science?” Ellen Spertus, a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, tells of her experience at computer camp, in which she discovered that there were six boys to every girl. (And later, she found that only 20 percent of computer science undergraduates at M.I.T. were female.) The article says: “She published a 124-page paper, ‘Why Are There So Few Female Computer Scientists?’ that catalogued different cultural biases that discouraged girls and women from pursuing a career in the field,” and notes that her paper was published in 1991.Computer science has changed since that time.Today, there a

March 18, 2009

  Image of the week - Dilbert and performance reviews Copyrighted image, courtesy of Used with permission. Women are still perceived as 'technically incompetent' and must work harder to prove themselves, says a recent report: Women in ICT, 2008. See also GridBriefing, page 2, bottom of section entitled "The leaky pipeline; the glass ceiling."  

March 18, 2009

Link of the Week - Facing the skills shortage: Attracting more women to ICT Participants in Shadowing Day at CERN. Image courtesy of GridTalk When you go to a grid-computing conference, you notice that the overwhelming majority of attendees have a Y chromosome. To attempt to understand why this is so, GridTalk issued a GridBriefing on women in the grid, and why the numbers of women in information and communication technology keep declining. Entitled "Facing the skills shortage: attracting more women to ICT," the briefing lays out some possible reasons for the phenomenon, along with ways to move forward, attract more female students to the field, improve equality and integration, and enhance the visibility and attractiveness of the field overall. There are also opinions about the reasons for the lack of women, information on Gender Action Plans and Shadowing Days, and links for more information and background.

January 28, 2009

Quotes of the week - “We will wield technology’s wonders . . .” Steven Chu, Energy Secretary Image courtesy of As U.S. president Obama was sworn into office on 20 January, he offered encouraging words to the scientific community:"We'll restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost.  We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories." American scientists celebrated both at home and abroad as they listened to their new president highlight the importance of science and technology to our future. "There was applause in the CERN cafeteria," said Elizabeth Clements of Fermilab, at CERN on a visit.Two days later, Steven Chu, the new Energy Secretary, addressed the national laboratories. Chu identified energy as the defining issue of our time, and said that he had accepted the position largely to address environmental issues such as climate change and finding altern

November 12, 2008

Editorial - iSGTW and the future Simulation of neutron star.  Image courtesy of AEI / Seidenfadenf This week marks the 100th issue of International Science Grid This Week. We have come a long way since our first issue: this publication now has over 4,000 subscribers, 50,000 visits per month,  and a Google page ranking of 8 on a scale of 10. (By way of comparison, Google itself has a 10, and Sony corporation has a 7.) From the very first issue, iSGTW has sought to share stories of grid-empowered science and scientific discoveries, by acting as an impartial reporter of science grids.As time has gone on, this publication has moved from exclusively featuring American grid-enabled science achievements—in the beginning, Open Science Grid started this publication as Science Grid This Week, as a newsletter covering U.S. grid projects—to more of a worldwide emphasis. This expansion was reflected by the addition of the word International to the title and by co-sponsorship with Enabling Grids for E-SciencE (EGE

October 8, 2008

Link of the week - What is the grid, anyway? The computing grid has been likened to the electrical power grid, in which large institutions share resources according to demand. Image courtesy of Our Link of the Week this time is the latest of our GridBriefings, where we attempt to answer a question as old as the grid: Just what is the grid?In "Grid computing in five minutes," you see case studies of the grid in action, running the gamut from nuclear fusion to earth science to agriculture. And you can hear what different people have to say about what it is, how it works, why it matters, and the challenges for its future.For example, Faïrouz Malek, LHC ATLAS experiment physicist and scientific project leader for the LHC Computing Grid in France, says: “As a particle physicist in the 90s, I witnessed the birth of the World WideWeb: I still remember the trouble I causedin my experiment when I suggested wecreate a web page to facilitate interactionbetween international members. I havesince witnessed the b

June 25, 2008

Bonus Feature: Readers talk back about standards —Paul Strong, e-Bay “For all of us, standards are a means to an end: interoperability that enables integration, collaboration, choice of vendor products/components and reduced costs. As scientists, government bodies or businesses, all of us have slightly differing priorities, but ultimately we all need the benefits that standards bring. The real challenge is how to deliver relevant standards in a timely fashion. My belief is that community-driven standards are the way forward and that standards driven through implementation are the most likely to be successful for those of us driven by quarterly and yearly results. We need interoperability and we need it fast!” —Mario Campolargo, European Commission "The e-infrastructures initiative of the European Commission delivers cutting-edge ICT-based infrastructures and services to solve real-worldproblems. Already today, there are more than 300 different organizationsparticipating in the e-infr

June 25, 2008

Grid computing walks the standard line: thinking inside the box With many projects involved, truly seamlesss interoperability can be a challenge.Image courtesy of NorduGrid and Vicky White“Standard” is often equated with “average” or “boring.” How can you innovate or invent when you’re bound by standards and regulations? How can you push the boundaries when you’re stuck inside a box?Yet how can you create something on a grand scale—something that can slot into place with other grand things—unless you create something interoperable. Something . . . standard.In this special feature, former iSGTW editor (and now GridTalk editor) Cristy Burne reports on this easily overlooked aspect of grid computing. Why should we care? Standardizing grids: the current landscape Challenges for the future The way forward A standard in action: GridFTP A “de facto” standard: VOMSBONUS FEATURE: What does the grid community have to say about standards? (See what people from inst

June 11, 2008

Feature - Biomedical informatics: Vision and challenges Dan ReedImage courtesy of Microsoft Corp. Imagine your cell phone ringing at 6:00 a.m.: “Please telecommute today and keep children home from school. We are attempting to contain a sudden and dangerous outbreak of influenza that has already affected 30% of the population within ten miles of (your address).”  Dan Reed, a computational scientist known for his leadership in developing technology and science policy, currently director of scalable computing and multicore at Microsoft Research, envisions such a device in every pocket, hooked into a distributed data infrastructure. In his keynote address to the HealthGrid 2008 conference in Chicago on June 3, Reed invoked Vannevar Bush’s post World War II vision of an “intelligence amplifying device.”  Admitting we’re not there yet, he offered his vision of tools and practices to advance the field of public health informatics. He also laid out the challenges.&ldqu

February 20, 2008

Announcement - OGF-Europe: Europe backs open standards to advance grid adoption Open Grid Forum’s global mission is to encourage pervasive grid adoption through achieving interoperable software standards.Image courtesy of OGFThe Open Grid Forum this week announced the creation of OGF-Europe, funded by the European Commission for Mobilizing and Integrating Communities on Grid Standards & Best Practices Globally. OGF-Europe will capitalize on European Commission investments in grid technologies by driving grid adoption and innovation across Europe in research, government and industry.The OGF-Europe project is aligned with OGF’s global mission of pervasive grid adoption through interoperable software standards. Key deliverables include outreach seminars and workshops, adoption challenges and recommendations reports; community surveys, best practice reports and tutorials. OGF-Europe will also co-ordinate an “Industry Experts” council to better understand how European enterprises are dealing with issues sur

July 25, 2007

  Feature - UK Parliament gets up to speed on grid technology Could you explain the intricacies and potential of grid technology to your local parliamentarian, and all in the time it takes to eat breakfast? Stock image from morguefile If he can find time in his busy schedule, the UK’s new prime minister, Gordon Brown, can learn about grids with the launch of a new parliamentary briefing paper.The four-page introduction to grids and e-science has been produced for policy makers by the UK’s Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST). As well as discussing grid technology and some of the UK’s key projects, it looks at issues like security, licensing and, of course, funding.POST is part of the UK Parliament, working for both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. For nearly 20 years POST has been informing UK Members of Parliament about policy issues with a foundation in science and technology, which can include anything from climate change to stem cell research.David Cope, POST’s director