One year of EOSC Synergy

Dimple Sokartara talks about the project’s achievements so far

When you are reading this, we are kicking off month 13 of the EOSC Synergy project! We just passed our one year anniversary, and what a year it has been. From launching the project face-to-face in Santiago de Compostela, to fully virtual meetings and events. The pandemic brought many challenges, but also provided opportunities for us to demonstrate the feasibility of putting EOSC in practice. In the days of lockdowns through Europe, we proved that challenging times are also an opportunity to show the strength of the technological know-how developed in Europe in distributed computing over the past 15 years.

On the 20th of March we set up the first EOSC-enabled service that was able to support the analysis of genomic data related to the COVID-19 pandemic, on cloud infrastructures. For that we used open source software, and made the service open and freely available to all the European researchers in genomics.

The project appointed a special task force, which in less than 48 hours was able to identify the requirements of the science case, integrated the service in a Galaxy portal, and powered it with the computing performance provided by the EGI Federated Cloud.

The project’s aim is to put EOSC in practice by expanding the capacities and building the capabilities of EOSC. So, what have we achieved in the first year?

  • Software Quality as a Service (SQaaS):
    • EOSC Synergy software quality assurance: we are developing a quality-based approach to foster the adoption of EOSC services and data repositories, which will improve, promote and reward quality.
    • EOSC Synergy quality badges: we are adopting the Open Badges Specification through the Badgr platform to issue verifiable digital certifications.
  • Thematic services:
    • The project has identified 10 thematic services, which are expected to reach a workload between 400 and 46.500 CPU hours per week consumed by up to 10k jobs per week.
    • All have identified several EOSC technical services to address some of the challenges and requirements that were not properly fulfilled in their initial versions. The thematic services are currently evolving by adapting EOSC services from the EOSC marketplace.
  • Events/meetings:
    • Open Educational Resources (OER) 2020: presented the activities of the EOSC Synergy project around supporting delivery of online training for EOSC.
    • e-IRG May event: presented feedback of two researchers involved in the tasks of EOSC Synergy in the areas of training and FAIR Data adoption.
    • Dataverse community meeting: presenting the Quality baselines and informed about the contribution opportunities for the Service-QA baseline docs.
    • EOSC-hub week: presented national policy developments supporting EOSC implementation, joint session with INFRA-EOSC5b projects (EOSC Pillar, EOSC Secretariat, EOSC Nordic, NI4OS Europe and ExPaNDS).
    • EURISE workshop: presented the EOSC Synergy roadmap towards SQaaS.
  • Publications:
    • Position paper: INFRA-EOSC5b projects’ findings and outputs, expectations from the future EOSC, contributions, recommendations and key messages to the governance.
    • Technical framework for FAIR principles implementation: initial recommendations for assessing data FAIRness, and ‘FAIR enabling’ data repository features.
    • White paper: on the state-of-the-art of Digital Badge issuing technologies as part of its software quality assurance architecture.
    • Landscape analysis: results of a survey completed by the participating countries on their level of awareness and implementation of the EOSC.

As you might have noticed by now, we have been working on quite a number of activities. With this, a number of deliverables and milestones have been completed and achieved as well. So what is next?

During the third all-hands meeting, all work packages have been given the opportunity to update all project members about the highlights of their achievements. Building on this, future actions were also introduced. For example, the Kubernetes service integration activities were kicked-off, a discussion on the Service Quality Assurance platform was held, and the exploitation paths to share results were explored. To name a few. Curious to what we have in store for you? Make sure to keep an eye on our website and Twitter page to stay up to date.

Can’t wait? Luckily we’ve got the recordings of the general presentations recorded for you! Learn about our main highlights.

Dimple Sokartara leads the communications activities of EOSC Synergy.