VRE4EIC Newsletter - March 2017

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Keith Jeffery

Message from the Scientific Coordinator

Welcome to the third edition of the VRE4EIC 6-monthly newsletter. The project is now progressing at full speed and on-track to reach its ambitious objectives. A short project description appears below and full details are at www.vre4eic.eu

Brief Description of VRE4EIC

VRE4EIC (A Europe-wide Interoperable Virtual Research Environment to Empower Multidisciplinary Research Communities and Accelerate Innovation and Collaboration) develops a reference architecture and software prototypes (under the name of e-VRE, for enhanced VRE) to be used for future VREs including building blocks that can be used to improve existing VREs. The project addresses the key data and software challenges in supporting multidisciplinary data driven sciences.

Collaboration with Other Initiatives

Two large ESFRI (European Strategic Forum for Research Infrastructures) e-RIs (e-Research Infrastructures) namely ENVRIplus and EPOS are already collaborating as partners (represented by UvA and INGV respectively). At present we are working with a further 10 large e-RIs to ensure we have appropriate requirements and – later – validation and evaluation.

We are collaborating with other projects in the e-Infrastructure clustering organised by the EC. This includes the 3 other VRE projects as well as more basic e-I (e-Infrastructure) projects.

Achievements so far

VRE4EIC logo

By the end of March 2017, the project will be half-way through, closing its 18th month of life. During the last six months, the project has completed the Gap Analysis, aimed at examining existing VREs in order to determine which components of the Reference Architecture (delivered by September 2016) must be developed for enhancing the VREs of the EPOS and ENVRIPlus projects, which have been selected to represent existing e-Research Infrastructure. The Gap Analysis has selected the Metadata Manager and the AAA (authentication, authorization, accounting) Manager. The implementation of these managers, along with the orchestrating Node Manager, has been launched at the beginning of this year. In the meantime, the project has defined the necessary strategies for handling security, privacy and trust issues both at the project- and at the user-level.  A preliminary version of the implemented components will be available at the end of May, so that the integration of those components into the EPOS and ENVRIPlus architectures can be started. The project has also carried out a review of existing VRE Metadata, to the end of determining the best strategy to interact with existing VREs, thus realizing the interoperability that lies at the core of the Project objectives.

VRE4EIC at the EVER-EST Workshop (January 13, 2017)

Associated with the VRE4EIC project meeting, a day was dedicated to a joint workshop on VRE4EIC and EVER-EST. After presentations on both projects, it was agreed that there are several areas for closer cooperation which will be pursued in the coming months.

VRE4EIC first OA publication

The first VRE4EIC OA publication has been constructed with input from all partners and is currently undergoing internal review and improvement before being submitted for publication.

VRE4EIC survey for the evaluation of Use Cases is online

The VRE4EIC survey to evaluate Use Cases for A Virtual Research Environment is online. This is finalized to find out the needs with regard to sharing and using research data from multiple disciplines. People involved in academic research activities represent the target of the survey, as interacting with (open) research data. The results will help specifying the requirements of the VRE developed by the project.

For further information please visit our website.

VRE4EIC upcoming initiatives and workshopsRDA

VRE4EIC will be represented at the VRE Interest Group of RDA (Research Data Alliance) at the RDA Plenary Conference in Barcelona 5-7 April 2017 (https://www.rd-alliance.org/plenaries/rda-ninth-plenary-meeting-barcelona). The Interest group will be discussing the VRE concept alongside the SG (Science Gateway) and VL (Virtual Laboratory) concepts to gain international understanding.

VRE4EIC is carrying out an intense activity in organising a series of workshops in order to engage with e-VRE target user communities and to disseminate project results towards a wider audience. In the coming months, four major VRE4EIC workshops events will take place, all over Europe:

  • On May 20, 2017, TU Delft organises a VRE4EIC workshop in conjunction with the international Conference for e-Democracy and Open Government 2017 (CeDEM17) at the DanubCeDEM17e University Krems (Austria). The workshop entitled “Virtual Research Environments: collaborating in analysing open research data” targets VRE researchers. The workshop aims at disseminating project results and refining further requirements for collaboratively analysing open government data (OGD) and open research data through a secure, trusted and multidisciplinary VRE.

  • On May 29-31, 2017, in the framework of the Spring 2017 Membership Meeting of euroCRIS in Dublin (Ireland), VRE4EIC organises a workshop entitled “VREs vs. RIs usage". The objective is to involve VRE users and developers in order to collect feedback on the VRE4EIC use cases.

  • In June 2017, VRE4EIC will join the proposed W3C Dataset Exchange (DXWG) work group that is being planned to meet in conjunction with the RDA’s Collaboration meeting in Gothenburg (Sweden). Subject to approval by the W3C Membership, the DXWG will be formed to resolve the issues raised at the SDSVoc workshop held last year in Amsterdam and organised by VRE4EIC. The collaboration between VRE4EIC and the working group will support further engagement with related communities.

  • A major project event is planned in September 2017 in Rome (Italy), to be organised by INGV. The workshop will be configured as a collaboration event with our partner projects ENVRIplus and EPOS. At this workshop, VRE4EIC partners will publicly present the first version of the e-VRE software prototype. The workshop will also feature a training session on X3ML, mapping definition language and the 3M mapping tool which is being used to carry out mappings and data transformations within the VRE4EIC project, showing its features and functionality and allowing participants to create sample mappings. Upon completion of the training session, participants should have a good basic understanding of semantic mapping techniques, the CERIF model, X3ML and the 3M mapping tool.

There will be plenty of opportunities in the next few months to meet with the VRE4EIC partner representatives, and even to get hands-on on the first version of the e-VRE prototype components.

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This project is partially funded by the European Union