Digital Single Market
Digital Economy & Society

ICT 2010

Joining efforts in building an e-Infrastructure Ecosystem for Environmental Science

T 010, 29/09/2010 (11:00-12:30)

An e-infrastructure ecosystem combining autonomous but interoperating data, service and computational e-infrastructures, is emerging as a sustainable approach to multidisciplinary research requirements.

Building and exploiting an e-infrastructure ecosystem requires that new technological, organisational and policy issues be addressed and that existing business workflows are redesigned. Several initiatives related to the environmental science (ES) domain are developing standards for data exchange, data aggregators and supporting e-Infrastructures. The proposed session aims to bring together representatives of key ES initiatives to discuss how best to combine and generalise solutions so that the vision of multidisciplinary research across data, domain, and physical boundaries in this area can soon become a reality.

Technical description

Web site:

Coordinator: Donatella CASTELLI (CNR-ISTI, Multimedia Networked Information Systems, Italy)

Links and Documents



Donatella CASTELLI, 26/07/2010 19:29

Performance of research largely depends on the possibility of easily, rapidly and timely accessing, analyzing and processing relevant information. While many domain specific e-Infrastructures able to satisfy the needs of a particular research field have been/are being constructed, these are not by themselves sufficient to meet the needs of the Environmental Science research communities which are largely multidisciplinary and operate across multiple domains.

An infrastructure ecosystem offers a more appropriate solution for the Environmental Science research scenarios. Implementing such a system, however, is certainly more challenging than implementing domain specific infrastructures. Recent technological advances and, especially, steps that are being done at EU and International level for fostering metadata, policy and methodology standards looks promising aids for facilitating the achievement of this objective.

It would be interesting to underand how these steps could be generalised and applied more widely.


Cristina GARILAO, 28/07/2010 13:35

I support this session.


Pasquale PAGANO, 28/07/2010 19:39

Can a unique e-infrastructure technology be the ultimate goal of the research communities? Let us imagine an hypothetical world where all actors speaks the same dialect (in IT terms this is equivalent to say that all software communicate by using the same protocol); where all goods are described and identified in the same way making the analysis and comparison of different goods almost immediate (in IT terms this is equivalent to say that all data are uniquely identified and described with a common metadata and a global ontology); etc. Are we sure that this hypothetical world is perfect? Apparently yes, it is. However, thinking better to this ideal scenario it is evident that different applications require different levels of complexities and therefore the hypothetical world could easily become unsatisfactory for the majority of the applications and perfect only for a tiny minority. … continue


Pasquale PAGANO, 28/07/2010 19:39

… For example, a common policies management standard could be overkill for some simple applications that do not need it and be too simple for complex application frameworks that require fine tuned configurations. In the same way, a common communication protocol cannot satisfy all cases: if a network application needs to exchange small data units and it does not care about dividing messages into packets and sequencing of packets it may prefer UDP to TCP by saving processing time.

Heterogeneity is a value if properly managed. Similar requirements (for example on a communication protocol) need a common (standard) solution, but different requirements deserve different solutions.

The ecosystem approach towards different and autonomous e-infrastructure providers valorizes the heterogeneity and makes economically sustainable the value of the differences.

Does this ecosystem approach widely accepted by environmental scientists?


Isabel MATRANGA, 24/08/2010 10:08

The topic and goal of this session is very interesting. I am looking forward to it.


Johannes KEIZER, 25/08/2010 18:00

I am very interested in this session. I am working for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN. We would like to get an ecosystem of advanced infrastructures based on linked open data


George KAKALETRIS, 06/09/2010 17:37

This session is right on the spot in highlighting the needs for a capable suite of specifications that will enable scientific eInfrastructures to seamlessly interoperate allowing the diffusion of heterogeneous resources (data, services, ...) into the creation of a global eInfrastructure EcoSystem.

While eInfrastructures of the recent past were merelly targeting the sharing and exchange of resources across the limits of administrative domains, the members of a global eInfrastructures EcoSystem go even across technologies, policies and scientific disciplines. The establishment of adequate specifications a prerequisite for the success of this challenging endeavour.


Arne BERRE, 23/09/2010 12:12

An infrastructure for accessing environmental services and data is also important beyond the research community. The FP7 project ENVISION is working on such an infrastructure, see During ENVIROINFO'2010 we are arranging a workshop on an e-Infrastructure and platform for Environmental services and data, ENVIP, in Bonn on October 7-8, 2010.


Comments are closed

ID: 3432