The project e-IRGSP5 provided support to the e-Infrastructure Reflection Group. The support activities included:
- operation of the secretariat, e.g. organisation of events and provision of secretarial support to the e-IRG Chair and Executive Board,
- provision of editorial support during the preparation of policy documents, input to the Commission and support e-IRG working groups and task forces,
- liaison with e-IRG's various stakeholders and maintain e-IRG's social media channels
- communication of e-IRG's output
- operation of the external and internal e-IRG web presence
- collection and aggregation of policy information, which enable assessment of e-Infrastructures
The EU-funded project e-IRGSP5 was the fifth implementation of the support programme to the e- Infrastructure Reflection Group (e-IRG).
The e-Infrastructure Reflection Group is a recognized key advisory body on e-Infrastructure policies in Europe since its founding in 2003. 63 e-IRG delegates from 32 Member States, Associates Countries and the European Commission (DG CONNECT) and two observers from ESFRI and the European Commission (DG RTD) form an advisory body, which cooperates closely with the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) and have connections to other bodies of the European landscape like RDA and LIBER. e-IRG and ESFRI complement each other through orthogonal domains, where ESFRIs vertical Research Infrastructures are complemented through and supported by the horizontal e-Infrastructure layers and their services. During the course of the e-IRGSP5 project e-IRG has been actively engaging to establish a collaboration with RDA and LIBER, having delegates as members in both groups governance boards.
e-IRG's vision to "facilitate integration in the area of European e-Infrastructures and connected services, within and between member state, at the European level and globally", pursuing its concept of an e-Infrastructure Commons for Europe's research landscape that is instantiated as the "European Open Science Cloud", which is being implemented and officially launched on 23 November 2018.
e-IRG's objective is to sustain itself as the leading European advisory group on e-infrastructures. It acts as an autonomous and neutral advisory body following the principles of independence and openness, which provides opportunities for all stakeholders to debate their views, and offer perspectives, analysis and proposes approaches to consolidate the way forward.
The mission of e-IRG is "to support both coherent, innovative and strategic European e- Infrastructure policymaking and the development of convergent and sustainable e-Infrastructure services."
e-IRGSP5 has provided the secretariat to the governing bodies of e-IRG, supported their day-to-day operations, organisation of the e-IRG events, i.e. its workshops and delegates meetings. e-IRGSP5 has provided support to the e-IRG's policy activities and provided dissemination and communication activities to distribute the outcome of e-IRG. Furthermore, e-IRGSP5 has coordinated with the EU-funded e-Infrastructures and e-Infrastructure projects to collect and aggregate relevant policy information with impact on the development of EC-funded e- infrastructures, including KPIs and cost-related information. The information provided has been made openly available for reuse.
The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) was started as an approach to facilitate the Open Science policy of the European Commission and has gained attention through its technical implementation as EOSC, an e-Infrastructure lightweight integration tool. Two EU-funded projects; EOSCpilot (call INFRADEV-04-2016 - European Open Science Cloud for Research) and EOSC- hub (EINFRA-12-2017 - Data and Distributed Computing e-infrastructures for Open Science) resulting from the Horizon 2020 Work Programmes started to implement the technical foundation for the realisation of the European Open Science Cloud. With this instantiation a milestone of e- IRG's concept of the e-Infrastructure Commons has been achieved and e-IRG has entered a phase of re-orientation as described in the first periodic report. As an outcome of this re-orientation phase e-IRG has focused its policy work on the national building blocks of the e-Infrastructure Commons, which are considered as vital constituents of the European Open Science Cloud. This has been a major part of the e-IRGSP5 work in the second reporting period of the project through work package 3, which has supported this activity with substantial effort.
Work Package 1 – charged with project management.
Work Package 2 – Secretariat (WP2) successfully organised all e-IRG events (delegates meetings and workshops under Bulgarian and Austrian Presidency of the Council of the Union) in the reporting period.
The delegates meetings in Sofia, Bulgaria and Vienna, Austria were well attended and during these meetings e-IRG's activity focussing on the national nodes shaped up from the creation of a working group until the presentation of preliminary results in November 2018 in Vienna.
The workshop under the Bulgarian EU Presidency had four session which were used to get reports on the following topics
- European Future & Emerging Technologies (FET) initiatives
- Challenges Data and HPC
- The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) - Progress and National Views
- European Structural Investment Funds and e-Infrastructures development - The Southern
- Eastern European (SEE) case
Nearly hundred participants attended the workshop and most of them attended also the Regional Conference on "e-Infrastructures for excellent science in Southeast Europe and Eastern Mediterranean".
The second workshop in the reporting period took place in Vienna during the Austrian EU Presidency. This workshop addressed the uptake of European Science Policies like the European Open Science Cloud and the Go-FAIR principles beyond Europe using the example of Ethiopia. The second day of the workshop was used to present the preliminary findings of the e-IRG work on National Nodes to a wider audience. The session was completed by three presentations which could be seen as examples of good coordination on the national and regional level towards the EOSC. The e-IRG Workshop under Austrian EU Presidency was connected to the second EOSC stakeholder
forum and the EOSC Launch Event.
Furthermore, WP2 has provided support to the e-IRG Chair and the Executive Board and maintained the e-IRG mailing lists, the internal lists for working groups as well as for task forces and the external mailing list for those interested in e-IRG and the European e-Infrastructures. Since the new GDPR regulations came into force WP2 has removed all subscribers of the mailing list to comply with the regulation and asked them to re-subscribe. Since then interested stakeholders are subscribing to the list. And finally, WP2 has maintained the nominations of e-IRG delegates.
Work Package 3 – Policy Support (WP3) has provided extensive support to e-IRG's policy- activities. In the reporting period e-IRG has started the collection of material and proceed with an analysis of national e-Infrastructure nodes, which are seen as the building blocks of the European Open Science Cloud. Since the e-IRG Working Group on National Nodes was set up, e-IRGSP5 has supported the group in the collection and analysis of national information of 27 out of 32 Member States and Associated Countries, which are represented in e-IRG. The supporting activities comprise also the preparation of presentations with preliminary results of the analysis, which were presented at the DI4R 2018 conference in Lisbon, Portugal, at a PLAN-E workshop in the framework of the eScience 2018 conference in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, both in October 2018, and the e-IRG workshop in November 2018 in Vienna, Austria.
Work Package 4 – Policy Information Collection and Aggregation (WP4) has reworked the initial version of its results, to consider the reviewers' recommendations, providing an initial list of indicators, and then proceeded in updating its outputs, presenting them and discussing them with the e-Infrastructure community and policy makers, and updating/consolidating its outputs, proposing a list of metrics/indicators on the financial and policy aspects of e-Infrastructures. As prescribed in the e-IRGSP5 DoA, the project hired and consulted two external experts, a professional accountant with experience in e-Infrastructures and an experienced project manager and policy expert. Their inputs were considered and integrated in the corresponding final deliverable of the project, which will be further disseminated with the community.
Work Package 5 – Dissemination, Liaison and Communication (WP5) has disseminated the outcome of e-IRG over various channels and maintained the e-IRG web presence, participated in several e-Infrastructure related events, interviewed people of relevance in the e-Infrastructure community and published these interviews on the e-IRG video channel on Vimeo. WP5 further disseminated e-Infrastructure and e-IRG related news through the e-IRG social media outlets and published two issues of the e-IRG Magazine.
The e-IRG web space comprises the public e-IRG web pages, the closed delegates web space to which only e-IRG delegates have access and the closed and public web spaces for the e-IRG Support Programme. The public e-IRG web space informs about e-IRG itself, its events and publications. Additionally, the e-IRG web page has a news blog, which regularly provides news and articles on relevant topics from and around e-Infrastructures. The e-IRG Knowledge Base provides a collection on e-Infrastructure-related topics, publications, project and country information and a calendar with information about events with e-Infrastructure relevance. The e-IRG web presence is the starting point to learn about or get in contact with e-IRG, access its publications and other e- Infrastructure related information, as well as news and event information.
The e-IRG Magazine is a publication, which is edited twice a year and is used to disseminate e- IRG's outcome and provide information about e-IRG delegates meetings and workshops, as well as information from other projects' or initiatives' events in the field of e-Infrastructures. Finally, WP5 has expanded the e-IRG Knowledge Base, which provides a centralised information point on e- Infrastructures at the European and the national level.