EGI and the Chinese Academy of Sciences collaborate to boost science beyond national boundaries

Yin Chen talks about EGI’s recent collaboration with the Computer Network Information Center (part of CAS)

The Computer Network Information Center (CNIC) is part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and provides network, computing and data services to the Chinese research community while serving as a main contributor to the birth of the China’s internet.

CNIC’s mission is to build itself into a first-rate information center for cyber-infrastructure construction, system integration, operation management and service performance. The main goal is to fully harness the strength of ICT to support scientific innovations and management activities, promote the R&D of information technology, integrate e-science and e-management resources and strengthen the spread of scientific ideas.

Founded by Chinese Academy of Sciences and operated by CNIC, CSTCloud aims to take the lead for the development of cutting-edge national infrastructure of data and computation for accelerating science discovery.  CSTCloud provides CAS-level public cloud services in support of open science. Representing CSTCloud, CNIC will sign an MoU agreement with EGI, and will fully support the cooperation.


The collaboration with EGI has already started back in 2019, with the parties agreeing to focus on the following objectives:

1)   Enhance the capacities of both parties by exchanging solutions and good practices for federating resources across countries, by collaborating on pilots and experimental activities to support the need of research communities and by developing advanced information technologies to ensure cross-infrastructure interoperability.

2)   Establish a governance framework defining policies, procedures, operational tools and Operation Level Agreements (OLA) that ensure interoperability of federated e-infrastructure service management across the infrastructures operated by the parties.

3)   Strengthen the connectivity of international research networks by exchanging research and staff members as well as extension of the membership to broader, beneficial research communities.

4)   Jointly coordinate user communities activities, including outreach, training, coordinated infrastructure provisioning, for example through the organisation of open calls and international support teams.

In order to achieve these objectives, both sides have identified joint actions as follows:

  • MoU definition 

The two parties aim to have an official MoU prepared and signed by summer 2020. A permanent working group of experts will be established to define and  implement this work plan over time.

  • E-Infrastructure integration testbed

The working group will analyse the feasibility of resource integration and conduct the technical integration of e-infrastructures with joint resources.

  • Use cases and research collaborations

The working group will identify use cases from research communities of joint interest. These will be used to show case solutions for infrastructure integration. Examples of scientific disciplines include structural biology (the WenMR community of practice –, atmospheric research (the EISCAT research infrastructure), astronomy (LSST), disaster mitigation, environmental science, ecology, and high energy physics.

  • Governance and interoperability framework

The working group will establish and maintain a technical and governance framework that includes a set of policy and interoperability recommendations to facilitate cross-infrastructure data processing and analytics workflows. This framework will include policies and procedures for cross-infrastructure access, user support, security incident management and co-provisioning of infrastructure capacity.

  • Demonstration workshops

The working group will seek to promote the results of the collaboration in conferences, and workshops, and to coordinate efforts in training towards user communities. A joint event programme will be defined annually, including the annual EGI Conference and CNIC events and workshops.

Yin Chen is Community Support Officer at the EGI Foundation.