The European Grid Initiative Design Study (EGI_DS) has set up an interactive knowledge base online to provide information on the status of European National Grid Initiatives (NGIs) and thus further the collaboration towards a sustainable European computing grid infrastructure. The knowledge base was unveiled by the design study team in the framework of the annual Enabling Grids for E-sciencE (EGEE) project user forum, held in Clermont-Ferrand, France. Its design is similar to that of the well-known online encyclopaedia Wikipedia, so that the NGIs themselves can enter and edit the content. 'The EGI Knowledge Base is a great tool, which provides a very useful overview of the situation of NGIs and grid projects in Europe,' says Jacko Koster, the NGI representative for Norway. 'This is an important basis for the developments of the EGI, but also for the advancement of the individual countries. By learning how one country addresses particular problems, other countries could learn and avoid early pitfalls.' 'The future EGI organisation is intended to be the glue between the various grid communities in Europe and beyond,' Mr Kranzlmüller adds. 'For this, we are seeking to implement the right processes and mechanisms, and the sharing of functionality between National Grid Initiatives and EGI. The result will be a sustainable environment for the application communities utilising grid infrastructures for their everyday work.' The EGI Design Study intends to develop a new organisational model of a sustainable pan-European grid infrastructure. The project, funded with €2.5 million under the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), assesses technical and financial feasibility of such a grid service, with a view to Member State policy-makers and funding agencies. Its work is based on the EGEE project. 'The experience of EGEE is an invaluable asset in the preparation of the EGI organisation,' says EGI project director Dieter Kranzlmüller. 'The results of EGEE and the input from the EGEE experts are of major importance in solving the many challenges of setting up a sustainable organisation for the operation of the European grid.' The original EGEE project started in spring 2004, aiming to integrate national, regional and thematic computing and data Grids to create a European Grid-empowered infrastructure for the support of the European Research Area (ERA). Now in the second phase, the current EGEE-II project builds on the work of the EGEE project to provide a production quality, seamless Grid infrastructure service across the ERA and across the globe. The infrastructure benefits academic and industrial researchers in their daily work by providing round-the-clock access to a common pool of major storage, computing and networking facilities, independent of geographic location. The EGEE brings together scientists and engineers from more than 240 institutions in 45 countries worldwide. Over the past four years it has received nearly €68 million out of a total project cost of about €99 million from the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). The EGEE grid consists of 41,000 central processing units (CPUs) available to users 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in addition to storage space of about five-Petabyte disk (five million Gigabytes) and tape mass storage system, and maintains 100,000 concurrent processing jobs.