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Common Operations of Environmental Research Infrastructures

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Strengthening European infrastructures for environmental research

An EU initiative helped developing solutions for common operations of European environmental research infrastructures and built common services for data mining and data processing.

Climate Change and Environment

Understanding our natural environment requires data from all over our planet that comes from a network of interdependent sources and is seldom standardised or processed in the same way. An information and communications technology (ICT)-based infrastructure for environmental scientists incorporating data, models and software would help to improve and streamline their research. The EU-funded ENVRI (Common operations of environmental research infrastructures) project set out to develop targeted common infrastructure tools. They are intended for use by the cluster of the environmental research infrastructure projects identified in the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) roadmap. Project members assessed and analysed the state of the art in ICT and common requirements for ESFRI environmental infrastructures. A reference model with a common definition of standards and infrastructure processes was developed for greater interoperability between the various infrastructure resources. The team further developed a series of software tools that enable Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) network users to locate and access data available in the ESFRI cluster set up by ENVRI. These tools also allow data exchange between GEOSS and ESFRI infrastructures. To implement common approaches for the tools' use, a knowledge transfer and training strategy targeting environmental infrastructure communities was finalised. Meetings, workshops and conferences helped demonstrate how these tools and services can support infrastructure users. Videos introduced the reference model. The project intensified community building and cooperation of the environmental research infrastructures within and beyond the ESFRI area. ESFRI infrastructure projects now consider cooperation as key to providing advanced support for world-class research in GEOSS. This was demonstrated at the final project event that gathered developers and operators of the concerned ESFRI environmental infrastructures. The aim was to disseminate project outcomes to infrastructure communities and examine recommendations for the future collaboration of ENVRI infrastructures. A set of key strategy and sustainability documents addressed this continued strategic collaboration. ENVRI brought environmental infrastructures together to deliver effective solutions for improving their operational performance and laying down a framework to encourage future interoperability in interdisciplinary research.

Keywords

Environmental research, research infrastructures, ESFRI, environmental infrastructures, GEOSS

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