What drives policy? Who defines it? What does it even mean? The EGI ecosystem is a complex web of actors ranging from resource, service and technology providers to a diverse user community covering a wide range of activities spread across numerous countries and regions. Whether on a European or National level, policies provide the clarity and the processes for interaction within the EGI ecosystem.
The EGI.eu Policy Development Team (PDT) supports the coordination of these policies for the benefit of all, whether they be ‘technical’ through open standards, ‘operational’ for operational policies and procedures, or ‘strategic’ by providing analysis and guidance around key topics of discussion.
It has been an exciting first year with the establishment of EGI.eu and the start of the EGI-InSPIRE project. The PDT has supported the establishment of ten policy groups, including a policy development process to support them, and has prepared key strategic reports around sustainability plans, integration of clouds and virtualisation into EGI, EGI’s role within the Europe 2020 strategy, the suitability of the ERIC legal framework for EGI.eu and a standards roadmap, just to name a few.
As the first year of EGI was devoted to establishing the general policy framework, the next step forward and priorities of the coming year are geared towards reinforcing the connection with the National Grid Initiatives (NGIs) and European Intergovernmental Research Organisations (EIROs) participating in EGI. This will facilitate EGI-to-NGI and NGI-to-NGI policy development interactions and an exchange of best practices.
This context served as the basis for the first of a series of EGI Policy Workshops, organised at the EGI User Forum in Vilnius on 13 April 2011. The session focused on the results of two recent surveys conducted by the PDT together with the NGIs and EIROs. The goal of the first survey was to engage with the community to kick-start a flow of ideas on key policy issues, obtain updates on NGI legal and organisational status and understand the most pressing issues around sustainability moving into the future. The second survey focused on understanding the viewpoints about the suitability of the ERIC legal framework for EGI.eu, and presenting the preliminary results from the NGIs and EIROs themselves for which road should be travelled.
Overall, the participants’ feedback on both the surveys and session proved extremely positive. The opportunity to showcase a number of achievements through the EGI policy activities performed at both national and international levels underlined the importance of these activities and why it is essential for their involvement in this area. Consequently, channels have been established in order to continue directly engaging the ecosystem to ensure that EGI collectively evolves in the right direction.