The e-Infrastructures activity , as a part of the Research Infrastructures programme , focuses on ICT-based infrastructures and services that cut across a broad range of user disciplines. It aims at empowering researchers with an easy and controlled online access to facilities, resources and collaboration tools, bringing to them the power of ICT for computing, connectivity, storage and instrumentation. This allows for instant access to data and remote instruments, "in silico" experimentation, as well as the setup of virtual research communities (i.e. research collaborations formed across geographical, disciplinary and organisational boundaries).
e-Infrastructures foster the emergence of e-Science, i.e. new working methods based on the shared use of ICT tools and resources across different disciplines and technology domains. Furthermore, e-Infrastructures enable the circulation of knowledge in Europe online and therefore constitute an essential building block for the European Research Area (ERA).
The Communication from the European Commission on ICT Infrastructures for e-Science (COM (2009)) puts in a context the relation between modern science and ICT-based infrastructures and presents a renewed strategy for achieving leadership in e-Science, developing world-class e-Infrastructures and exploiting their innovation potential.
The Digital Agenda for Europe initiative is one of the seven flagships initiatives of the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. It recommends sufficient financial support to joint ICT research infrastructures and innovation clusters, further development of e-Infrastructures to be develop and the establishment of an EU strategy for "cloud computing", notably for government and science.
Under FP7, the e-Infrastructures activity is part of the Research Infrastructures programme, funded under the FP7 'Capacities' Specific Programme. It focuses on the further development and evolution of the high-capacity and high-performance communication network (GÉANT), distributed computing infrastructures (grids and clouds), supercomputer infrastructures, simulation software, scientific data infrastructures, e-Science services as well as on the adoption of e-Infrastructures by user communities .
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