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Digital Infrastructures for Research – DI4R2018 – is serving the user base

The third edition of the annual Digital Infrastructures for Research (DI4R) conference was held this year at the University of Lisbon campus in Lisbon, Portugal from 9 October to 11 October 2018. The DI4R 2018 conference was jointly organised by EOSC-hub, GEANT, OpenAIRE, and PRACE under the theme “Challenges for Research Communities around Open Science”. This event provided a packed programme of sessions, posters and networking opportunities - leading to brainstorming and discussions on how best to serve the user base. DI4R 2018 has showcased the policies, processes, best practices, data and services necessary for the support of the research process to ultimately advance scientific knowledge through open science.

More than 370 researchers, innovators, data producers, scientific domain experts, librarians, data science practitioners, service providers, project leaders, policy makers and funders from 38 countries, participated and contributed with their voice to DI4R 2018. Following the previous two DI4R events – DI4R2016 in Krakow and DI4R2017 in Brussels, the conference was an opportunity to report and discuss requirements, existing solutions and success stories that highlight the relevance of open science and its enabling building blocks. By bringing together many different stakeholders, the conference has fostered cooperation between infrastructure projects, communities and initiatives.

In the 2018 edition, the Programme Committee was chaired by Sinéad Ryan from Trinity College and Volker Guelzow from the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY).  The main topics of interests were taken from the following areas:

Area 1: Cross-Domain challenges / Data exchange across domains: researchers, technologist
Area 2: Open Science and skills
Area 3: Computing and Virtual Research Environments
Area 4: Security, trust and identity
Area 5: Digital Infrastructures for the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and/or the Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
Area 6: Business models, sustainability and policies
Area 7: Innovation in Open Science with Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Industry

The work of the e-IRG delegates and the e-IRGSP5 team were presented in two talks.  On 10 October, in the session “EOSC from Theory to Practice”, Professor Sverker Holmgren presented “Analysis of National Nodes as foundation for the European Open Sciences Cloud”. The scope of the presentation was to present the preliminary analysis of the requested information concerning issues such as the coordination of national horizontal e-Infrastructures, their governance model, their funding, and the access policies currently in place along with a first set of recommendations for the different stakeholders, namely e-Infrastructure providers, funders, policy makers and users and get some initial feedback. On 11 October, in the session “Innovation for Open Science with SMEs”, Dr. Fotis Karayannis presented “Towards a common approach on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) from e-Infrastructure” in which he emphasized that Key Performance Indicators will play an important role in monitoring the development of projects and services of research infrastructures and e-Infrastructures, and their commitment to the principles of Open Science.

Strong discussions arose in the following parallel sessions: "EuroHPC a new player in the game - PRACE/GEANT", "Thematic Services", "EOSC Service Architecture", "Open Science Services", "Data Management Services", and "OpenAIRE services for Research Infrastructures" which were of great interest for all participants at DI4R.

More information and the full programme of DI4R2018 is available online.

Todor Gurov
Assoc. Prof., PhD
Deputy Director - Institute of Information and Communication Technologies
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences