e-Infrastructure Commons

The term e-Infrastructure Commons was initially presented in the e-IRG Roadmap 2012.  e-IRG uses the metaphor of the Commons for the e-Infrastructure resources and related services, which among others refer to networking, computing, storage, data and software, along with digital tools and collaboration opportunities. In the e-IRG Roadmap 2012, e-IRG outlines Europe's need for a single "e-Infrastructure Commons" for knowledge, innovation and science. The e-Infrastructure Commons is the political, technological, and administrative framework for an easy and cost-effective shared use of distributed electronic resources across Europe. The e-Infrastructure Commons can be defined as an integrated living ecosystem of resources and services that is open, user friendly and accessible to European researchers and scientists, and continuously adapts to the changing requirements of research and science.

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Mission and Vision Mission and Vision

Mission and Vision

e-IRG is a strategic body to facilitate integration in the area of European e-Infrastructures and connected services, within and between member states, at the European level and globally.

The mission of e-IRG is to support both coherent, innovative and strategic European e-Infrastructure policymaking and the development of convergent and sustainable e-Infrastructure services.

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Value of the e-IRG and future prospect Value of the e-IRG and future prospect

e-IRG's long-term vision for a holistic e-Infrastructure Commons within the European Research Area

The digital transformation profoundly impacts all aspects of Research and Innovation (R&I) and is one of the driving forces behind the development of the ERA. The digital transformation involves sharing resources within and between research communities and across national boundaries. In line with the ERAC e-IRG sees the need for a federated and coordinated approach in Europe to overcome the lack of inclusiveness and coordination in Open Science and Open Innovation to continuously strengthen the scientific and technological base in Europe towards a fully functioning ERA. [1,2]

Current EC policies pose a risk of fragmentation. Relevant elements for the digital transformation in the R&I domain concern work programmes in both Horizon Europe and Digital Europe. The EOSC may be recognized as a first implementation towards the e-Infrastructure Commons in Europe. It might also be seen as an instantiation of a European dataspace for R&I. A comprehensive implementation of the e-Infrastructure Commons within the European Research Area (ERA) requires an integrative approach covering the federation of the full e-Infrastructure spectrum including EOSC and EuroHPC. For such an approach e-IRG is an indispensable instrument. e-IRG serves an exchange of (expert) information and policies and facilitates informed discussions on topics like:

  • Good practices of coordination and collaboration within and across e-Infrastructures and thematic research infrastructures
  • Realisation and enhancement of partnerships in the e-Infrastructure landscape covering the full spectrum, including EDI and ECI
  • Resilience and value of e-Infrastructures in transient situations, eg. COVID-19 pandemic
  • Analysis of the complementary dimensions of national situations
  • Reflections of data interoperability and machine actionability
  • Education and skills
  • Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Computing, e-Learning, etc. highlighting the crucial role of e-Infrastructures

e-IRG is well positioned for guiding these developments well beyond the implementation of the EOSC, ensuring directionality (common vision) and additionality (added value) in the e-Infrastructure endeavours.

Full document: Value of e-IRG and prospect (PDF)

The work of the e-IRG is supported by the e-IRGSP6 project funded by the European Commission. Previously the work was supported by e-IRGSP up to e-IRGSP5.

e-IRG activities are closely connected to the current Presidency of the European Union (EU). For instance the workshops are organised in and together with the country that holds the Presicency. EU member states met on 13 December 2004 and reached political agreement on provisions concerning the exercise of the Council Presidency including the order of Presidencies.

The current and future EU-presidencies until Dec 2023:

January - June 2021 Portugal
July - December 2021 Slovenia  
January - June 2022 France  
July - December 2022 Czech Slovakia  
January - June 2023 Sweden  
July - December 2023 Spain