Less intimate than Ilsa and Rick, close to 100 participants attended a Reflection Group (e-IRG) workshop in Paris on 21-22 October to discuss management of massive data sets, access for users to these data sets, and access to computing resources.
Projects from ESFRI, the European strategy forum on research infrastructures, representing many scientific disciplines, are important potential grid users. This was the first event where the ESFRI and cyberinfrastructure (CI) worlds came together.
ESFRI, formed in 2002 at the behest of the European Council, works to strengthen the scientific integration of Europe and its international outreach. ESFRI facilitates policy-making on research infrastructures, the facilities scientists need to conduct and accelerate their research, and acts as an incubator for the development of these facilities. The roughly 35 ESFRI research projects are pan-European and in some cases global; they require funding from many countries to build and operate, and cyberinfrastructure to provide access for their global user communities to data and results.
The workshop sought to identify specific ESFRI projects that can take advantage of CI to make significant improvements in speed and efficiency, both in construction and operation. Seven of the 35 ESFRI projects, all of which are in the preliminary development phase, presented their needs and goals.
The challenge for the future, participants agreed, is to manage the complexity of the data-related approaches with different types of stakeholders and requirements, and the numerous initiatives and projects promoting them. E-IRG plans to set up a task force, and this discussion will continue at the next e-IRG meeting.
I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.