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EGI-ACE: Empowering European Open Science

EGI-ACE, a flagship project coordinated by the EGI Foundation, and funded by the European Commission with a budget of 8 million EUR, has drawn to a successful conclusion in June 2023. We are thrilled to share that we have just concluded a successful project review, further validating the excellence and impact of EGI-ACE. This achievement is a testament to the dedication and hard work of everyone involved.

In the face of unprecedented challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic and disruptions caused by global events like the war in Ukraine, EGI-ACE has emerged as a shining star in the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) landscape. This article looks back at the outstanding achievements of this 30-month endeavor and highlights EGI’s pivotal role in its success.

EGI-ACE’s results would not have been possible without the commitment and collaborative spirit of our consortium members, third-party partners, resources and service providers and the unwavering support of the European Commission.

To our users, numbering nearly 77,000 strong, we also extend our heartfelt thanks. Your trust in our services, your dedication to advancing knowledge, and your invaluable feedback have been the true catalysts of our success.

Unprecedented scale and reach

EGI-ACE achieved unparalleled success by delivering computing resources across diverse sectors and scientific disciplines. It empowered a vast ecosystem of thematic services (30) and data spaces (5) dedicated to open science. This project fostered collaboration among federated providers and user supporters from over 30 countries, taking EOSC to new heights and expanding the EGI Federation and EGI community with new members, services, partners, and users.

Key Achievements

Service Expansion

EGI-ACE delivered 36 free-at-point-of-use compute services through the EOSC Portal, comprising 19 services in the Compute Platform and 17 services in Thematic Data Spaces and Processing Platforms. These services addressed various computing needs, including interactive and batch data processing, AI model training, scalable cluster management, and high-throughput compute applications. Remarkably, these services now constitute 9% of all services accessible on the EOSC Portal.

EGI-ACE service orders represented 35% of all EOSC service access orders. 10 EGI-ACE services in the ‘most ordered top 20’.

User Engagement

EGI-ACE engaged with the scientific community through various channels, attracting 189 access requests via the EOSC Marketplace and 42 additional requests through the EGI-ACE Open Call. Impressively, these services were used by nearly 77,000 users during the project’s 30-month duration, representing a significant portion of all service access orders in EOSC.

Impact on Research

The project worked closely with scientific communities, resulting in the creation of 53 Thematic Services across various disciplines. These services served 144 user communities and contributed to the publication of 69 research papers. EGI-ACE also received 78 citations in scientific publications, underscoring its impact on research.
During its implementation, EGI-ACE collaborated with seven additional Research Infrastructures on the ESFRI roadmap. Working closely with Research Infrastructures, such as EMSO-ERIC, SeaDataNet, IS-ENES and EISCAT, EGI-ACE fostered service delivery, enabling the creation of thematic portals, applications, and notebooks.

Global Partnerships

EGI-ACE established partnerships with infrastructures outside Europe, such as the Computer Network Information Center (CNIC) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Open Science Grid (OSG) in the United States. These collaborations significantly increased computational power for various research projects, including COVID-related simulations.

Engagement with Industry

The project introduced the EGI Digital Innovation Hub (EGI DIH), offering a platform for companies and technical service providers to collaborate and test solutions. This initiative attracted 16 SMEs from diverse domains, fostering innovation and productivity.

Infrastructure Innovation

EGI-ACE expanded the EGI Cloud federation by adding HPC facilities and integrating them into the EOSC Compute Platform. This enhanced the availability and reliability of the federated infrastructure, enabling scientists to run their workflows seamlessly.

Skills and Expertise

EGI-ACE built human capacity through its training program, which included webinars and extended training events. Over 1,000 participants benefited from these training sessions. Additionally, the project promoted IT service management standards through FitSM training, enhancing service maturity within the consortium and across EOSC.

Impact Report

EGI-ACE has not only met its objectives but has exceeded expectations, leaving a lasting impact on Open Science, research, collaboration, innovation, and skills development. This flagship project, coordinated by the EGI Foundation, stands as a testament to the organization’s leadership and commitment to advancing European Open Science. It has significantly contributed to the growth and success of EOSC while expanding the EGI Federation and Community. As we reflect on this remarkable journey, EGI remains at the forefront of empowering researchers and driving innovation in open science.

What is next?

As we reflect on the culmination of EGI-ACE, we also look ahead to continued collaboration, innovation, and advancement in the realm of open science. Together with our partners and supporters and with our users at the heart of our mission, we remain dedicated to advancing knowledge. It is our pleasure to announce we will keep supporting the users with EGI Open Call for use cases.

EGI Call for Use Cases

With this call for use cases, EGI offers individual researchers, national and international research projects, and communities access to infrastructure and platform services, dedicated user support and training. The services, support and training are sponsored by various national funding agencies and are free to access to the use cases that will be selected through the call.

EGI team behind the EGI-ACE

Tiziana Ferrari is the Director of the EGI Foundation.

Gergely Sipos is the Head of the Services, Solutions and Support department at the EGI Foundation.

Sergio Andreozzi is Head of Strategy, Innovation and Communications at the EGI Foundation.

Hien Bui is a Project Manager at EGI Foundation.

Enol Fernández is Cloud Solutions Manager at the EGI Foundation.

Magdalena Brus is the team lead for the EGI communications team.

Giuseppe La Rocca is Community Support Team Lead at EGI Foundation. 

Alessandro Paolini works as Senior Service Delivery Officer at EGI Foundation.

Smitesh Jain is a Senior Innovation Management Specialist at EGI Foundation.

Andrea Manzi is a Data Solutions Manager at the EGI Foundation.