Virtual research communities (VRCs) are groups of like-minded individuals organised by discipline or computational model. VRCs typically have an established presence in their field (for example an ESFRI project, EIROFORUM laboratory or national research structure) and represent a well-defined scientific or research community.
VRCs are self-organised research communities which give individuals within their community a clear mandate to represent the interests of their research field within the EGI ecosystem. They can include one or more virtual organisations and act as the main communication channel between the researchers they represent and EGI.
EGI establishes partnerships with individual VRCs through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Following the accreditation process and final agreement, VRCs can access the computing resources and data storage provided by the EGI community through open source software solutions. VRC members can store, process and index large datasets and can interact with partners using the secured services of EGI’s production infrastructure.
International scientific communities can draw many benefits from a strong partnership with EGI. EGI offers an open process to the improvement of its user community oriented services (a register of grid-ready applications and training resources), workshops and forums to collect and refine community input, help and support on resolving specific technical issues, as well as involvement in the evolution of EGI’s production infrastructure.
In turn, VRCs provide EGI with their technical and service requirements, which are then fed into the overall development of the infrastructure as a consumer-driven resource. VRC representatives sit on the User Community Board and are encouraged to advise EGI on its planning and operational priorities, based on requirements collected from its members.
Below is a list of the VRCs that have signed a MoU or a Letter of Intent (LoI) with EGI. EGI is currently negotiating similar agreements with research communities in many other fields of research.
|VRC||Discipline||What do they do?||Joined EGI|
|WeNMR - A worldwide e-Infrastructure for NMR and structural biology||Structural Biology||WeNMR brings together research teams in the structural biology and life science area into a virtual research community at a worldwide level, focusing on biomolecular Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS). These research communities need virtual platforms to provide user-friendly computation tools supported by an underlying high performance e-Infrastructure.||11 April 2011
|LSGC – The Life-Science Grid Community||Life Sciences||The Life-Science VRC covers notably the following scientific domains: bioinformatics, genomics, biobanking, medical imaging, (statistical) analysis and systems biology (e.g., virtual physiological human). It covers research groups from universities, research centers and industry, IT actors developing tools for Life Sciences, hospitals and ESFRIs.||27 May 2011
|HMRC – Hydro-Meteorology Research Community||Hydro-Meteorology||HMRC deals with problems involving the hydrologic cycle, the water budget, and the rainfall statistics of storms. The boundaries of hydrometeorology are not clear-cut, and the problems of the hydrometeorologist overlap with those of the climatologist, the hydrologist, the cloud physicist, and the weather forecaster.||22 Aug 2011 (MoU)|
|Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (wLCG)||High Energy Physics||The wLCG is a global collaboration that links grid infrastructures and computer centres worldwide, set up to distribute, store and analyse the data generated by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiments at CERN. wLCG is a mature research community, both in its own right and in its use of grid technology.||24 Jan 2012 (MoU)|
|CLARIN – Common Language Resources and Technology Infrastructure
DARIAH – Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities
|Humanities||CLARIN is committed to establish an integrated and interoperable research infrastructure of language resources and its technology. It aims at lifting the current fragmentation, offering a stable, persistent, accessible and extendable infrastructure and therefore enabling eHumanities.
DARIAH was set up with the mission to enhance and support digitally-enabled research across the humanities and arts. DARIAH aims to develop and maintain an infrastructure in support of ICT-based research practices.
|1 July 2011