A 2012 e-IRG Roadmap outlined a vision for the future of e-Infrastructures in Europe. Now, the e-IRG has published its 2013 White Paper, which takes the discussion one step further and proposes specific next steps.
The main focus of the 2013 White Paper is the integration of services for research communities and interoperability and coordination of e-Infrastructures. Follow-up aspects are Open Science, data management, big data, cloud computing and legal issues that arise from the commercial use of e-Infrastructures.
To meet the challenges of implementing the 2020 Strategy, Europe needs an “e-Infrastructure Commons” for knowledge, science and innovation. It should be open and accessible, and continuously adapting to the changing requirements of research and to new technological opportunities.
Available e-Infrastructure resources as well as the conditions for access vary strongly between countries. This limits the ability of universities and research institutes to collaborate with each other and with commercial researchers. Therefore, there is an urgent need for a European “e-Infrastructure Commons”: a flexible and dynamic ecosystem, providing integrated services through interoperable infrastructures.
A centrally managed e-Infrastructure is not a solution. Instead, there is a need for a joint strategic effort involving users, providers, and funding agencies, leading to a high degree of coordination without stifling innovation. The e-IRG White Paper 2013 outlines a number of steps towards this objective. These steps focus mainly on changes in organisation, governance and funding; an important element is the empowerment of end-users through changes in funding mechanisms.
Download the final e-IRG White Paper 2013.
Additional information, including the long version of the White Paper and the comments is available at: http://www.e-irg.eu/publications/white-papers.html