The ETTF report states that EU investments in e-Infrastructure require adequate investments in education in order to allow EU Member States to fully develop and exploit these technologies for academic, industrial, governmental and medical research and innovation. Coordinated development of e-Infrastructures across the EU is vital to maintain Europe’s competitive edge in the knowledge-based economy, supporting advances in science, industry and education. A shortage of skills and knowledge, a need to optimize the use of
e-Infrastructures, benefits to industry and academia, and the relationship of education and development to EU policy provisions are the key motivations for increased investments in the field.
The report stresses a need to invest in education in appropriate computational thinking or digital-systems judgments in every scientific, medical, engineering and humanities first degree. This allows graduating students to fully contribute to the knowledge economy with an appreciation of the potential of e-Infrastructures and rich information sources, and well prepares them to make competent ethical and socio-economic judgments about their use. According to the ETTF, there is also a need to invest in education of specialists via undergraduate and Masters courses and to develop a critical mass of experts who will innovate both in the provision and exploitation of e-Infrastructures and e-Science methods. Furthermore, Doctoral and Postdoctoral training programmes for intellectual, business and educational leaders, who will drive innovation across the European Research Area, have to be developed.
The Lugano meeting also reformulated the e-IRG vision and mission statements. They were reformulated four years after the original proposals, to reflect the broadening scope and maturation of the e-Infrastructures and to flexibly support the needs of the user communities that may use the European e-Infrastructure in response to European spearhead initiatives that have - within their scope - successfully realised parts of the vision. The new e-IRG vision statement: The e-IRG vision for the future is an open e-Infrastructure enabling flexible cooperation and optimal use of all electronically available resources. The e-IRG mission statement: The e-IRG mission is to pave the way towards a general-purpose European e-Infrastructure.
The next e-IRG workshop and delegates meeting will be held in Paris on 21st and 22nd October, 2008.
secretariat (at) e-irg.eu
The e-Infrastructures Reflection Group Support Programme 2 (e-IRGSP2) aims to provide means and resources for the progression of the work performed by the e-Infrastructures Reflection Group (e-IRG).The e-IRGSP2 is financed by the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme and started on 1st January 2008 and will continue until the end of December 2010.