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EINFRA-7-2014 - Provision of core services across e-infrastructures

Specific challenge: Support to harmonise and/or deploy core e-infrastructure services is crucial for their effective use by both production e-infrastructures and e-infrastructures under development. Core services are considered those that 1) enable e-infrastructure interoperation and 2) are common across a broad range of e-infrastructures and research communities.


Scope: Proposals will address one of the two following actions (one proposal per action will be funded):

(1) Development and promotion of the uptake of a Digital Identifier e-infrastructure for digital objects (articles, datasets, collections, software, nomenclature, etc.), contributors and authors which cuts across geographical, temporal, disciplinary, cultural, organisational and technological boundaries, without relying on a single centralised system but rather federating locally operated systems to ensure interoperability. The requirements of all relevant stakeholder groups (researchers, libraries, data centres, publishers, etc.) will be addressed;

(2) Deployment and promotion of a pan-European identity federation for researchers, educators and students, in compliance with existing identity inter-federation efforts (including Eduroam and Edugain). The action will involve (research and education) institutions in EU Member States, existing identity federations, e-infrastructure providers and libraries. It should aim to overcome technical, organisational and legal obstacles for the implementation of an integrated and interoperable authentication and authorisation infrastructure (AAI) and to lower barriers for entry of organisations not already participating in identity federations, e.g. by providing scalable policy negotiation mechanisms, as well as legal guidance notably in data protection. It should also encourage the use of security token translation services to enable interoperability of different AAIs, as well as accounting services for enabling interoperability and aggregation in recording the usage of resources securely and reliably, including for the highly distributed heterogeneous infrastructures envisaged for global research data.  Guest identities and alternative methods of identification (e.g. social media identities) are encouraged e.g. in order to allow public access at large. Assessment of penetration of existing identity federations at national level and development of training activities for data professionals on issues related to AAI enabled collaboration and data sharing (data privacy, intellectual property, cultural barriers, etc.) should be foreseen.

Expected impact:

          The interoperability of e-infrastructure services is improved, therefore access to resources and collaboration between scientists are facilitated;

         Duplication of efforts for developing services common to many e-infrastructures is reduced;

         Extensive use of Digital Identifiers opens new prospects for advanced services for science and education and for encouraging openness and building trust;

         The federation of identities allows a European-wide single sign-on service enabling researchers to collaborate within secure and trusted virtual research environments where scientific resources and content can be accessed, used, stored and shared.

         The deployment of the AAI should facilitate sharing of information resources at pan-European level.

         Expansion of the coverage of national identity federations for network, services and applications; all research institutions are able to participate in identity federations even with low level of technical or organisational preparedness.

Type of action: Research and innovation actions