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European eInfrastructure Coordination Should Underpin EOSC

A report from the e-IRG workshop under the French Presidency, 30-31 May 2022

The eInfrastructures Reflection Group hosted a series of very interesting discussions in a workshop on 30-31 May 2022 under the auspices of the French Presidency of the EU. The discussions included the role of eInfrastructures in a sustainable EOSC (European Open Science Cloud) and cross-eInfrastructure collaboration and coordination, as well as the twin “green and digital” transition in eInfrastructures.

Workshop contributors recognised that data and research infrastructures have been the focus of much discussion to date, whereas the role and importance of eInfrastructures - networking, computing (both high-throughput and high-performance) and data - in EOSC would benefit from being better understood and more clearly highlighted. The critical contribution of eInfrastructures to EOSC should be afforded more attention. To help achieve this, eInfrastructures must communicate better between themselves and towards others; the digital means for doing research needs to become as generic as possible and as specific as needed.

The European eInfrastructures - EGI, EUDAT, GÉANT and OpenAIRE - all expressed the importance they attach to coordination and strengthened dialogue with their counterpart eInfrastructures and recognised the benefits this can bring to researchers.

For EGI, as an international data-centric infrastructure for data-intensive computing whose mission is to make science possible thanks to access to research data, collaboration with other research data infrastructures has been very important. EOSC has provided the opportunity to work more closely with other Infrastructures, as well as with ESFRI infrastructures: currently we are working together in the EOSC Future project to deliver a single access point to researchers, but it would be better still if this could be put on a stable longer-term footing. An eInfrastructures forum, in which eInfrastructures would hold a dialogue with one another, would help with providing a streamlined way to interact with users and solve their research problems. Such a structure would not only help users but would also help eInfrastructures to leverage their strengths, addressing the need for a better understanding of the importance of eInfrastructures for EOSC.