International collaboration is a driving force behind innovation, but for cooperation to occur effectively researchers must be able to securely and efficiently share resources, data and knowledge. An EU-funded project is proposing technical solutions and guidance to achieve unprecedented international interoperability between research communities.

pic of a mobile access with single login screen

The EU-funded AARC2 initiative has developed a novel blueprint architecture and software alongside technical and policy guidelines for a system that would enable researchers to access numerous services offered by research and e-infrastructures via a single login.

This reference architecture for authentication and authorisation infrastructures (AAI) has already been adopted by leading e-infrastructures, data networks and research communities across Europe and beyond. It supports standardisation efforts to help bring down barriers to efficient and effective scientific collaboration.

E-infrastructures are crucial to all disciplines of modern science, from particle physics and biotechnology to arts and humanities. They enable researchers around the world to work together online, share knowledge and discoveries, access powerful computing resources and maintain databases of research results for future reference.

A new collaborative project will typically set up a new AAI infrastructure, designing and developing the system from scratch to meet its needs. Only later do the researchers discover that their infrastructure may not be easily interoperable with other platforms.

The AARC2 initiative, building on its predecessor initiative AARC, addresses that challenge by providing research groups with a blueprint and guidelines for the optimal architecture that will ensure interoperability across platforms and with other networks as and when new needs or collaboration opportunities arise.

The AARC2 blueprint has already been adopted by GÉANT, collaborative data infrastructure EUDAT, and EGI, the European Grid Infrastructure for advanced computing services for research.

Pilot implementations are also being tested by research groups in various disciplines, including the Lifescience Biomedical Cluster, the Worldwide Large Hadron Collider Computing Grid, Cherenkov Telescope Array researchers and the Earth Science Collaboration Clusters.

More information:
Article: A blueprint for accelerating research collaborations
Official website: AARC2 project
Twitter: @AARC2018