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Headlines Published on 14 September 2007

Title Europeans connecting through the Grid

The creation, advancement and sustainability of scientific cooperation in various fields come with a solid grid infrastructure, which gives users access to networking, computing and data resources anywhere around the world. Setting their sights on generating such an infrastructure, 36 National Grid Initiatives (NGIs) in Europe have decided to team up and launch the European Grid Initiative (EGI), linking active NGIs and supporting new ones. The EGI will effectively support collaborative scientific discoveries in the European Research Area.

The EGI Design Study is funded under FP7. © Matt+
The EGI Design Study is funded under FP7.
The long-term sustainability of a grid infrastructure is guaranteed through the consolidation of NGIs and corresponding national funding, in addition to coordination on a European level and promotion from NGIs. While the NGIs provide a single point of contact, they also succeed in cutting management and expenses across the board. And as NGIs target common e-Science Infrastructure in support of all sciences, it is crucial that they are linked internationally to ensure scientific cooperation the world over.

A grid infrastructure transcends boundaries and improves the efficiency of scientific and industrial research. Experts recognise the need for a strong, premium network that can propel international research cooperation. In recent years, Europeans have witnessed the creation and launching of e-Science programmes with positive results, particularly as Europe has taken the top spot in this field. The implementation of grid technology is essential for e-infrastructures.

The EGI Design Study, which will establish the conceptual setup for a sustainable grid infrastructure in Europe, is backed by the Seventh Framework Programme of the EU and has received the green light from the European Commission. The Design Study will run from December 2007 to June 2009. Its objective is to evaluate cases for the applicability of a coordinated effort, define the structure of a corresponding body, and identify processes and mechanisms for getting the EGI off the ground.

The centralisation of various services, including operations management and middleware testing, according to experts, will help to link the European grids into a seamless whole. The end result is virtualised services for users. EGI will work together with industry, grid users, and technology and services providers to promote the uptake of grid technology by the industry in Europe. It will coordinate the integration and interaction between NGIs, and provide global services and support that complement and/or coordinate national services, such as security and authentication.

The EGI will also advise national and European funding agencies in setting up their programmes for future software developments based on agreed user needs and development standards.

The Design Study aims for Europe to fully capitalise on its sizeable investment in grid infrastructures, middleware development and applications. The Study's consortium comprises experts with a great deal of know-how and experience, which will be used to promote EGI to the next level. The consortium partners are from various European countries, including France, Austria, Italy, Greece and the UK. Three or four workshops for NGI representatives will be held for the Design Project.

More information:

  • EGI homepage
  • Information Society on Europa

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