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Integrating and managing services for the European Open Science Cloud

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EOSC-hub (Integrating and managing services for the European Open Science Cloud)

Reporting period: 2018-01-01 to 2019-06-30

The EOSC-hub project creates the integration and management system of the future European Open Science Cloud that delivers a catalogue of services, software and data from the EGI Federation, EUDAT CDI, INDIGO-DataCloud and major research e-infrastructures. This integration and management system (the Hub) builds on mature processes, policies and tools from the leading European federated e-Infrastructures to cover the whole life-cycle of services, from planning to delivery. The Hub aggregates services from local, regional and national e-Infrastructures in Europe and worldwide.
The Hub acts as a single contact point for researchers and innovators to discover, access, use and reuse a broad spectrum of resources for advanced data-driven research. Through the virtual access mechanism, more scientific communities and users have access to services supporting their scientific discovery and collaboration across disciplinary and geographical boundaries.
The project also improves skills and knowledge among researchers and service operators by delivering specialised trainings and by establishing competence centres to co-create solutions with the users. Furthermore, the project creates a Joint Digital Innovation Hub that stimulates an ecosystem of industry/SMEs, service providers and researchers to support business pilots and market take-up.
EOSC-hub builds on existing technology already at TRL 8 and addresses the need for interoperability by promoting the adoption of open standards and protocols. By mobilizing e-Infrastructures comprising more than 300 data centres worldwide and 18 pan-European infrastructures, this project is a ground-breaking milestone for the implementation of the European Open Science Cloud.
By achieving its objectives, EOSC-hub allows users to:
• Discover services through a secure online catalogue with a central access point.
• Access services via harmonised policies and Service Level Agreements.
• Leverage a large portfolio of generic and thematic services via standard interfaces provided by pan-European and international digital infrastructures and business organisations.
And allows service providers to:
• Contribute to EOSC with services based on a harmonised corpus of access, security and provisioning policies.
• Federate services by relying on harmonised processes and tools for service integration and management.
• Scale-up in-house capacity by procuring services via a centrally run procurement and purchase framework.
EOSC-hub implemented key elements of the EOSC Federating Core and delivers EOSC as a federated and integrated platform supported by key services for the federation, and engagement structures for both the demand and supply sides from the public and commercial sectors.
Most notably it developed the organizational model of the EOSC Federating Core, contributing to the implementation of various components. The Regulatory Tier was shaped with policies for data, service providers onboarded through the EOSC Portal, and the unified Acceptable Usage Policy for EOSC users.
The Federating Tier was modeled and implemented by defining the structure and activities of the EOSC Service Management System and by delivering the processes for federated service management including EOSC service portfolio, IT security and customer relationship management. This was complemented by the operations and maintenance of services that support federated service management like accounting and monitoring, and tools for integrated access like the EOSC Portal, the Marketplace and the EOSC AAI.
The Shared Resources layer was implemented by integrating compute, data management and a portfolio of national and international thematic data analytics platforms providing community-specific capabilities.
The supply side was engaged through the EOSC Portal by providing an onboarding process with service validation criteria and end-user orders. A EOSC technical architecture and initial set of interoperability guidelines was produced with the broad involvement of experts.
The demand side was supported through the EOSC Portal marketplace, training and support resources. The Early Adopter Programme was launched to meet the needs of research communities with complex digital requirements. The Digital Innovation Hub supporting commercial partners from design, to pilot and business incubation was established. In addition, a demand-side market analysis studied the demand for digital services in the context of the EOSC.
The project results enjoyed from a broad portfolio of collaborations, public consultations and joint activity plans involving OpenAIRE-Advance and other projects.
The major impact of the EOSC-hub project will be a significant reduction in the fragmentation of the IT facilities, services and tools for data-intensive research and innovation in Europe. By bringing together a broad range of services from general and domain-specific research e-Infrastructures under a common integration and operation layer, EOSC-hub fosters new modes of working for collaborative research. This initiative is well aligned with the three main goals of the European research and innovation policy:
• Open Science: EOSC-hub is a first implementation step of the EOSC vision. The project will establish the integration and operation layer that will federate services and tools for scientific collaboration, experiments and analysis and will make scientific knowledge more accessible.
• Open Innovation: EOSC-hub stimulates the creation of an open ecosystem of services that can be connected by interested providers in response to users’ needs. It will also provide a joint Digital Innovation Hub (DIH) to facilitate business partnerships, the private sector and the publicly-funded providers to support research or to move quickly research results to market. It also supports policy makers by providing added-value services that offer discipline and community-specific data analytics capabilities.
• Openness to the world: EOSC-hub involves international research collaborations that bring together data sources, services and people to tackle global research and societal challenges.
Expected results to maximize impact
• Creation of a portfolio that initially integrates services from EGI, EUDAT and research communities, and that is expanded with an increasingly large set of services and resources from external providers that are onboarded through the EOSC Portal.
• Harmonisation of service management processes and policies for the operation of federated services.
• The EOSC DIH to stimulate the innovation potential of research infrastructures, SMEs/industry, and other innovative actors through new business opportunities.
• New business models that simplify the purchasing of services from both publicly funded and commercial providers.
• A network of training experts within and from outside the consortium and the delivery of trainings in different areas.
• Technical and service roadmaps to ensure a coherent evolution of the technical solutions and service offering, and increase cross-provider service composability through interoperability guidelines.
• Transnational access to services and resources, opening them to all user groups including researchers, high-education, business organisations through the virtual access mechanism.
• Engage with potential EOSC users via Competence Centres and the EOSC Early Adopter Programme.