The EOSC-hub project set the groundwork for establishing EOSC as a federated infrastructure

Tiziana Ferrari elaborates on the achievements of EOSC-hub

EOSC-hub concluded on 30 March 2021 and ‘delivered exceptional results with significant immediate or potential impact’ according to the reviewers

 

EOSC-hub, a H2020 project coordinated by the EGI Foundation, was a first implementation step of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) vision and since its beginning in 2018 has brought together multiple service providers to create a hub of diverse services available to all European researchers for their scientific work.

For over three years EOSC-Hub has worked towards an ambitious vision: to enable European researchers to gain easy, integrated, and open access to leading edge digital services, data, scientific instruments, and other resources they need to excel in science and to produce innovation. To realise this ambitious vision, the project produced results spanning multiple disciplines i.e., ranging from technical architectures and services developments to operational policies and business models. Likewise, it created a rich set of resources and services, including scientific and technological development services (i.e. the EOSC Core and EOSC Exchange services), as well as complementary assets like training materials and a Digital Innovation Hub (DIH).

At the end of its life in 2021, EOSC-hub successfully provided the expertise and resources to enable an active usage of the EOSC and foster a culture of co-operation between researchers and EOSC service providers.

With collaboration from the EGI Federation, EUDAT CDI, Indigo-DataCloud project and 20 scientific collaborations, the project delivered 9 key exploitable results to safeguard its future and make sure that knowledge becomes more accessible all around Europe. The services in the project have supported more than new 20,000 researchers carrying out millions of operations and computational jobs monthly, as well as integrate the data and applications of 14 new research infrastructures while training over 5,000 people. From a technical point of view, the project produced 18 interoperability guidelines, and integrated more than 80 service providers into the EOSC portfolio.

Furthermore, the project supported COVID-19 international projects through thousands of molecular docking simulations runs that resulted in a huge increase in computational power collaboratively delivered by the EGI Federation and the Open Science Grid in the USA. During the COVID-19 pandemic, over 23000 researchers worldwide have accessed resources connected to EOSC-hub!

What are the full nine results?

Here is an overview of the 9 key exploitable results of EOSC-hub:

  • Portal and marketplace – the EOSC Portal provides the access to the EOSC and acts as a delivery channel connecting supply and demand sides of the EOSC and all its stakeholders, whereas the Marketplace acts as a gateway to the multitude of services and resources for researchers.
  • Service Management System – or EOSC’s IT service management system (ITSM), is the stable IT system piloted by EOSC-hub which allows service providers to plan, deliver, operate and control the hub’s services for future EOSC users.
  • Rules of Participation – are a comprehensive set of rules and policies for service providers to onboard services and make them discoverable and accessible through the EOSC Portal. Piloted and implemented via the EOSC Portal, the rules of participation make it easy to bring new service providers into the EOSC ecosystem while ensuring the quality and compliance of the overall services and building and maintaining the trust of the users and user communities.
  • Internal Services – provide the basic enabling services proposed for accessing and operating the EOSC. The common services are targeting adoption by the permanent EOSC services and include a Configuration Database (a central registry to record topology information about all the participating sites of an e-infrastructure), Accounting (storing user accounting records from various services offered by EGI, such as Cloud, HTC and storage usage), Argo Service Monitoring (keeping an eye on the performance of IT services and quickly detects and resolves any issues).
  • External Services – enable cross-disciplinary collaboration and speed up research processes thanks to the compute and data management capabilities and solutions of the EGI Federation, EUDAT CDI and Indigo DataCloud. Also, EOSC-hub has integrated many diverse services in the EOSC Service Portfolio to improve the research process of the disciplines and enable cross-disciplinary collaboration and reuse of tools and results.
  • Business and Sustainability models – will keep the hub up and running for the foreseeable future. While crucial for the long-term planning of EOSC, these models also provide foundations for ensuring the trust of users and user communities in the continued delivery of services. They have been designed to increase flexibility, lower barriers of entry and reduce compliance costs in service provision and consumption by the EOSC stakeholders, and will be important inputs to EOSC sustainability planning.
  • Digital Innovation Hub – makes it easier for companies to access the digital technologies and services of EOSC. The EOSC DIH provides a clear interface for commercial innovation that can be supported by EOSC as part of the broader European Digital Innovation Hub landscape (such as free access trials). It is a multi-dimensional mechanism that allows research e-Infrastructures to support business organisations to stimulate innovation, as well as helping start-ups, SMEs, and other innovative actors to tap into the academic world both in accessing knowledge as well as technical services.
  • Guidelines – define the architecture of EOSC’s functions. Interoperability and Integration Guidelines piloted the definition of the high-level architecture for basic EOSC technical functions and promoting EOSC standards and APIs. The result can facilitate access to services, lower barriers to integrating and composing services and promote the usage of services between adjacent communities.
  • Advanced Training Courses – Training Courses and Material provides training modules for scientists and scientific communities to form a ‘knowledge network’ to help researchers from different scientific disciplines better integrate advanced digital services. The courses are run to stimulate the knowledge transfer, foster the use of digital infrastructures and promote the uptake of Open Science on topics including Open Science, Data Management, the EOSC, Sharing & Discovery, Security & Operation and Storage.

According to the project reviewers ‘The project has delivered exceptional results with significant immediate or potential impact after the implementation period both with regards to the objectives mentioned in the individual Grant Agreement and with regards to the general build-up and usage of the European Open Science Cloud’. To ensure the highest impact, the project’s outcomes have been extensively validated from users and communities within the EOSC Hub project (e.g., Competence Centres, Thematic Services), but also outside the project with third-party participants engaging in business pilots and other target stakeholders.

To find out more on the EOSC-hub KERs, download the dedicated brochure. And don’t forget to visit the EOSC-hub website for an overview of the project’s work.