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e-Infrastructure Reflection Group Support Programme 6

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - e-IRGSP6 (e-Infrastructure Reflection Group Support Programme 6)

Reporting period: 2019-01-01 to 2020-03-31

e-IRGSP6 provides the core support services to the e-Infrastructure Reflection Group (e-IRG). The project supports e-IRG in its activities producing high-level policy recommendations towards the implementation of EOSC and EDI -both being part of the European Cloud Initiative, and the e-Infrastructure Commons overall.

e-IRG is a recognised key advisory body on e-Infrastructure policies in Europe and is composed of national delegates from the EU MS and AC. The e-IRG mission is “to support both coherent, innovative and strategic European e-Infrastructure policy making and the development of convergent and sustainable e-Infrastructure services”. Following this mission e-IRG sees itself as a “strategic body to facilitate integration in the area of European e-Infrastructures and connected services, within and between member states, at the European level and globally”. In accordance with this vision and mission, e-IRG has developed the concept of the e-Infrastructure Commons, which is a political, technological, and administrative framework for an easy and cost-effective shared use of distributed electronic resources across Europe. The e-Infrastructure Commons concept is seen as the foundation of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC).

The implementation of the European Open Science Cloud and the European Data Infrastructure is a landmark for e-IRG in the realisation of the e-Infrastructure Commons, which e-IRG is following up and has been contributing to related developments. During the reporting period e-IRG has published its main document on the National Nodes as building blocks of the EOSC, which provides an analysis of the state of the national components for the EOSC with regard to governance, financing and coordination within and between countries, as well as with regard to the cooperation between generic e-Infrastructures and thematic/domain specific Research Infrastructures.

e-IRGSP6 is providing support around the development of policy documents through e-IRG Working Groups and Task Forces. These policy documents’ related activities are accompanied by appropriate dissemination and communication activities. Furthermore, representatives of e-IRGSP6 have actively contributed to the EOSC development processes, including related EOSC Concertation meetings and other events.
The activities of the support programme are largely defined by the needs of e-IRG.

The Secretariat provides the project office to e-IRGSP6 and has supported the e-IRG governing bodies, in particular the e-IRG Chair and Executive Board. During the reporting period WP2 was involved in the organization and conduction of e-IRG events under EU Council Presidencies of Romania and Finland; the physical events during the Croatian EU Presidency in the first semester of 2020 have been cancelled so far due to the ongoing pandemic of the Covid-19 disease. Still, WP2 contributed to the preparation of the first e-IRG meeting under the Croatian EU Presidency and has also contributed to the planning of next delegates meetings and e-IRG workshop that will take place electronically (video calls/webinars) during the second quarter of 2020. WP2 prepared minutes and summary reports from the meetings for the delegates and the wider public. These documents are published on the e-IRG website. Additionally, WP2 supported the transition between the e-IRG Chairs from Prof. von Voigt to Dr. Paolo Budroni, who became e-IRG Chair in the beginning of 2020.

Policy Support provides support to e-IRG’s Working Groups and Task Forces in the creation process of policy documents. During the reporting period the most notable outcome is the finalisation and publication of the e-IRG National Nodes document, for which e-IRGSP6 provided support and contributions, both on analysis of relevant country data, but also editorial work under the guidance of the related National Nodes Working Group (WG) co-Chairs and e-IRG overall. This e-IRG WG was conceived much before the creation of the EOSC Executive Board Landscape Working Group but still provides a clear contribution to the work of the latter. WP3 also provided support to e-IRG identifying topics of relevance in the e-Infrastructure area, which could be of interest for a deeper reflection so that recommendations for the Commission and Member States can be produced in the next reporting period. Furthermore, WP3 actively participated in the EOSC Concertation activities and provided feedback to the output of EOSC Executive Board Working Groups like the Sustainability Working Group and questionnaire of the INFRAEOSC-05B projects.

Dissemination, Liaison and Communication disseminates the outcome of e-IRG over various channels and has provided e-Infrastructure related information to the stakeholders through the e-IRG news blog and via the e-IRG magazine. WP4 has been actively distributing information via its social media channels, including Twitter, LinkedIn, and Vimeo. In particular, the production of videos with interviews with key persons from the area of e-Infrastructures and HPC, e-IRG delegates and stakeholders is very well accepted by the intended audience. Finally, WP4 maintains the e-IRG Knowledge Base, which provides a centralised information point on e-Infrastructures at the European level as well as at the national level. The detailed information from the e-IRG National Nodes survey is also available through the Knowledge Base.
Expected result: Increased interoperability of e-Infrastructures and wider engagement of user communities in the EOSC and EuroHPC
Impact: e-IRGSP6 will support e-IRG in its action plan to contribute at the policy level towards the implementation of the e-Infrastructure Commons at the European and national level in the form of the EOSC and the EDI/EuroHPC. This will be accomplished by promoting interoperability of e-Infrastructures and increase the engagement of the user communities.

Expected result: Rigorously established and evidence-based e-IRG proposals addressing the implementation of existing EU policies and/or the design of new EU policies and the improved ecosystem of European Research Infrastructures and e-Infrastructures, encompassing the EOSC, EDI and EuroHPC;
Impact: e-IRGSP6 will support e-IRG (having deep knowledge of the e-Infrastructure and data aspects) in proposing and recommending further actions on existing EU policies, and/or designing new EU policies towards an improved, interoperable and integrated ecosystem of Euro- pean Research Infrastructures and e-Infrastructures, including EOSC and EDI/EuroHPC.

Impact: e-IRG and ESFRI are complementary through their orthogonal domains. e-IRGSP6 will support the cooperation of both bodies to the advancement of the European Research Area.

Impact: The open e-IRG workshops along with other targeted activities with key stakeholders provide a platform for policy makers, funders, e- Infrastructure providers/projects, and user communities to exchange knowledge and information on e-Infrastructure developments and needs and thus create bridges and cross-fertilisation platforms between these stakeholder communities.
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