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eInfraCentral bringing together researchers and e-infrastructures

eInfraCentral is a Coordination and Support Action funded under the EU Horizon 2020 framework programme's INFRASUPP-03-2016 call. Running from January 2017 to mid-2019, eInfraCentral's mission is to ensure that by 2020 a broader and more varied set of users - including industry - benefits from European e-Infrastructures. This is done via the creation of a common service catalogue in collaboration with Europe's leading e-infrastructures - EGI, EUDAT, G√ČANT, OpenAIRE and PRACE - and the development of a portal through which to access it.

Due to a fragmented e-infrastructure landscape, end-users, such as researchers or industry actors, often are unaware of the electronic infrastructures available in Europe that could aid their work. Similarly, service providers have difficulty reaching out to potential users due to the lack of coordination and harmonisation across various e-infrastructures. eInfraCentral fills this gap by creating a unified online service catalogue accessible through the eInfraCentral portal where potential users can search, browse, compare and access e-services. Users can also rate services and express their level of satisfaction, helping service providers to improve their offerings, which is also aided by the availability of usage statistics on the service level. eInfraCentral also developed a Service Description Template that is becoming adopted as a 'standard' by EU-funded e-infrastructure projects and is fostering an alignment of service descriptions.

Initially built around the services offered by the five most prominent European e-infrastructures - partners in the project, eInfraCentral is now actively working to extend the eInfraCentral Portal to services offered by other providers. The team has been in contact with over 30 EU-funded projects to introduce the eInfraCentral mission and vision, and demonstrate the eInfraCentral Portal. All providers of e-services - whether operating at European or national levels - are encouraged to become a part of the eInfraCentral community and benefit from access to an extended user base.

eInfraCentral is also one of three buildings blocks of the future EOSC Portal along with EOSC-Hub and OpenAIRE-Advance. The work done by the eInfraCentral team in building the service catalogue and portal for European e-services and e-infrastructures supporting researchers has been recognised in the Implementation Roadmap for the European Open Science Cloud. The Commission's Communication was published in March 2018, and the key initiatives are already looking into possibilities to collaborate.

For more information, you can browse the beta version of the eInfraCentral Portal.