It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change (Charles Darwin)
Today, EGI is an ecosystem of national and European funding agencies, research communities, technology providers, resource providers, operations and resource centres and coordinating bodies serving over 21,000 researchers in their intensive data analysis research by running over 1.2 million jobs a day.
Where will we be in 2020?
Strategy is about choice, focus and positioning to serve a defined market or community. In envisioning the future, what is the EGI target community? What problems does EGI want to solve? How does EGI adapt to the evolving technology landscape to innovate its solutions? What are the viable revenue streams to sustain EGI in providing its unique value?
These and other key questions have been addressed in two recent documents that have been published as part of the EGI-InSPIRE project work-plan: the 'EGI Strategic Plan' and the 'Evolving the EGI Business Models'.
EGI is committed to the European Commission’s goals outlined in the Europe 2020 vision. With this in mind, EGI’s strategy for the future is to develop its activities in order to be a key enabling foundation of the digital European Research Area (ERA), supported by continued investment from national and European funding bodies. In this context, the EGI mission is to connect researchers from all disciplines with the reliable and innovative ICT services they need to undertake their collaborative world-class and world-spanning research.
According to the identified strategic directions, EGI will develop strengths in three key areas:
To open the ecosystem to promote better competitive cooperation, collaboration and interaction at local, national and European level. Engagement with technical users and researchers can be enhanced through the support of local ‘community champions’, national and European events and workshops that promote EGI and its activities within the ERA.
While continuing to support the services for the currently supported research communities, the operational infrastructure needs to evolve to allow other European scale research communities to monitor and manage their own services operating at their distributed facilities. In addition, the operational infrastructure needs to support the federation of virtualised resources (such as institutional private clouds) in the public sector and public clouds from the commercial sector to support uniform standards-based transnational cloud access as a new capability to increase flexibility.
Research communities need VREs that connect the users to the e-infrastructure and reduce technical barriers to accessing EGIs resources. This software should be personalised to the users’ needs and should be composed of open extensible software solutions that can be reused across communities.
The EGI Strategic Plan defines in more detail the initiatives that will take place within the EGI community over the next few years by also identifying future coordinated investment in innovation from national and European funding bodies. This will allow the rapid evolution of EGI’s activities to become a key enabling foundation of the digital ERA. It will support the transnational deployment and uniform operation of virtual research environments for simulation, data sharing and data analysis activities, customised for the needs of individual multi-disciplinary research collaborations of all sizes and at a European scale.