Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - EPOS (European Plate Observing System)

Executive Summary:
The European Plate Observing System (EPOS) is a long-term plan to facilitate integrated use of data, data products, and facilities from distributed research infrastructures for solid Earth science in Europe. EPOS will bring together Information Technology (IT), Earth sciences, national research infrastructures policies and initiatives, decision makers, and public to develop new concepts and tools for accurate, durable, and sustainable answers to societal questions concerning geo-hazards and those geodynamic phenomena (including geo-resources) relevant to the environment and human welfare.
The EPOS Preparatory Phase project (EPOS PP) had the ambitious goal of creating the conditions for the integration of existing and future national and international research infrastructures (RIs) in Europe with the final goal of improving access to data, products and services. This has been possible because the national governments fully support EPOS and, in turn, because EPOS ensures that the services chosen to be implemented respect national priorities and strategic visions. In order to govern the integration of this complex landscape, EPOS has elaborated an architecture, designed by the scientific community and approved by the Board of Governmental Representatives, that, taking into account technical, governance, legal, and financial issues, will allow the enterprise to work as a single, but distributed, sustainable research infrastructure.
EPOS will be organized as an ERIC providing an effective governance framework to drive the integration and coordination of the thematic (community-driven) services and build and provide governance for the integrated services. The successful preparatory phase has brought the EPOS initiative to the maturity to establish the ERIC during 2016. This has required EPOS to:
• design and adopt a suitable governance model already approved by the BGR
• design a suitable funding model whose principles have been approved by the BGR
• elaborate the ERIC statutes, presently under negotiation with governmental representatives
• elaborate and approve a data policy document (under revision by the governmental representatives)
• identify the ERIC host country: Italy has been chosen for hosting the legal seat through a bidding process
• obtain the support from National Governments to join the ERIC (as demonstrated by 19 LoI).
EPOS PP has been a successful project, which made the infrastructure ready for its implementation, because:
• the technical design of the Thematic and Integrated Core Services has been shared and agreed with the communities, successfully engaged during the preparatory phase
• the legal, governance, and financial models have been discussed and agreed with the governmental representatives and research institutions successfully engaged during the preparatory phase
• it has been positively evaluated by EC and ESFRI and included within the top-three ESFRI infrastructures for implementation by the EU Competiveness Council
• It succeeded in integrating the solid Earth European scientific community providing a global perspective and an effective possibility to exploit results
• its innovation level and impact will likely go beyond solid Earth Sciences and involve society
• its attractiveness for engaging the private sector and industry is high and exploitable.


Project Context and Objectives:
The European Plate Observing System (EPOS) is a long-term plan to facilitate integrated use of data, data products and facilities from distributed research infrastructures for solid Earth science in Europe.
In the middle of the twentieth century, new technology for observing the Earth spread across continents and oceans, worldwide. The data collected, on earthquake locations, seafloor magnetism, volcanic activity, drove a new theory of the Earth, plate tectonics. Earth scientists could then describe the outer layers of the Earth as rigid plates moving past each other, with most earthquakes and volcanoes clustered at their edges. Plate tectonics changed the way Earth scientists viewed the planet and led to a flowering of research that continues to this day. The framework it provided brought considerable advances within fields such as geodesy, seismology, volcanology and geochemistry. Nowadays, advances in these individual fields are coming together to make sense of complex systems. For example, combining data from volcanic structure, geochemical analysis of ash and lava flow deposits, seismology, and satellite geodesy allows researchers to track an eruption process, giving societies at risk from volcanic phenomena a clearer idea of their exposure. However, the abundance of data across Earth science and related fields provided by the technological advances, need to be openly and easily accessible to bring the cross-fertilization of ideas and innovative research that is the key to future success in Earth science.
EPOS offers the infrastructure to make such collaborative, inter-disciplinary and cross-disciplinary science possible throughout a holistic, sustainable, multidisciplinary research platform that will provide coordinated access to harmonized and quality-controlled data from diverse Earth science disciplines, together with tools for their use in analysis and modelling (Figure 1). EPOS will bring together Information Technology (IT), Earth sciences, national RIs policies and initiatives, decision makers, and public to develop new concepts and tools for accurate, durable, and sustainable answers to societal questions concerning geo-hazards and those geodynamic phenomena (including geo-resources) relevant to the environment and human welfare.
FIGURE 1 HERE
The EPOS Preparatory Phase (EPOS PP) had the ambitious goal of creating the conditions for the integration of existing (and future) national and international research infrastructures (RIs) in Europe with the final goal of improving access to data, products and services. During the four years of its preparatory phase, EPOS actually succeeded in engaging the solid Earth science communities to share this vision and the mission of building a single, distributed infrastructure for integrating existing and creating new services for Earth sciences. This has been possible also because: i) the national governments fully support the EPOS architecture designed by the involved communities, ii) EPOS, in turn, ensures that the services chosen to be implemented, respect national priorities and strategic visions. Indeed, national governments are committed to support national research infrastructure as well as to join the new legal entity under the EU law (ERIC) in order to govern the services and coordinate the integration process.

Importantly, EPOS PP also succeeded in demonstrating to the national governments the financial sustainability and the scientific added value of the whole enterprise. It is important to emphasize that the national RIs participating in the EPOS integration plan already exist and are fully operational, providing access to data and services for specific communities at national level. European countries together own such a mosaic of hundreds of impressive but separated RIs that includes geophysical networks, observatories, temporary deployments, laboratories and modeling facilities for solid Earth studies. In this aspect, EPOS differs from many others ESFRI projects because scientists use already existing data, monitoring infrastructures, and facilities. In particular, the RIs that EPOS is coordinating include at least, but not only:
• regionally-distributed observing systems (seismological and geodetic networks)
• in-situ, permanent observatories (including geomagnetic, near-fault and volcano)
• experimental laboratories
• integrated satellite data and geological information
• infrastructures for geo-resources.
In order to govern the integration of this complex landscape, EPOS has elaborated an architecture, designed by the scientific community and approved by the Board of Governmental Representatives, that, taking into account technical, governance, legal, and financial issues, will allow the enterprise to work as a single, but distributed, sustainable research infrastructure.
Four complementary elements form the EPOS Architecture:
i) National Research Infrastructures (NRI)
ii) Thematic Core Services (TCS)
iii) Integrated Core Services: central hub (ICS-C) and distributed services (ICS-d).
These three elements form the EPOS Functional Architecture, which represents the scientific/technical backbone of the whole enterprise (Figure 2).
iv) Executive and Coordination Office (ECO). The ECO is the EPOS ERIC Headquarter and the legal seat of the distributed infrastructure governing the construction and operation of the ICS and coordinating the implementation of the TCS. During the next implementation phase (2015-2019) the ECO and the ICS-C will compose the EPOS ERIC, whereas the TCS and the ICS-d will be legally outside the ERIC, with the aim to integrate them when possible in the subsequent years. The relationships, from a legal and governance, and financial point of view, between the various components forming the EPOS Architecture and EPOS ERIC, are detailed in Table 1.

FIGURE 2 HERE

TABLE 1 HERE

From a strategic point of view, EPOS has been conceived and, therefore, built as “a single, Pan-European, sustainable and distributed infrastructure” and is unique in its architecture and disciplinary coverage. EPOS is, indeed, the sole infrastructure for solid Earth Science in ESFRI and its pan-European dimension is demonstrated by the participation of 23 countries contributing through the EPOS Board of Governmental Representatives (BGR). Nineteen of these countries have signed a letter of intent (LoI) for joining the EPOS-ERIC to be hosted in Italy (Rome). In particular, the EPOS Preparatory Phase partnership consisted of 20 partners from 18 countries and 1 non-governmental organization (ORFEUS www.orfeus-eu.org) and 6 associated partners (from 5 countries and 1 additional international organization, EMSC, www.emsc-csem.org) for a total of 23 countries. However, the community contributing to the EPOS integration plan is larger than the official partnership of EPOS PP, because more countries are represented by the international organizations and because within each country there are several research institutions involved (see www.epos-eu.org/ride).
The Preparatory Phase has been dedicated to establishing a management framework to achieve the objectives declared in the ECGA DoW:
• Strategic
• to establish efficient coordination and management of the infrastructure at European level to govern the process of building the necessary components, the expenditure assessment and the outreach at the project level
• to reach mutual agreement among the involved countries on the core legal entity and its governance structure as well as to have commitments for funding to ensure the construction of the infrastructure and its long-term operation
• Technical
• to integrate existing national research infrastructures through the novel EPOS Thematic Services (TCS) representing a network of community service providers for distributed data storage and processing; the design of the TCS has been agreed with the involved communities during the PP
• to develop an innovative and coherent e-infrastructure architecture, which will form the platform and data service infrastructure (not community specific) by means of the EPOS Integrated Core Services, for interdisciplinary data and metadata exchange, processing tools and computational simulations through the EPOS user interface; this will favour a catalytic process and synergic efforts for coordinating and harmonising all available resources
• to link EPOS with other international Earth Observing Systems
• to promote coherent training, educational and dissemination programmes and outreach.
All these objectives have been achieved respecting the work plan described in the ECGA DoW.
Relying on these achievements, EPOS will be organized as an ERIC providing an effective governance framework to drive the integration and coordination of the thematic (community-driven) services and build and provide governance for the integrated services. The successful Preparatory Phase has brought the EPOS initiative to the maturity to establish the ERIC during 2016. This has required EPOS to:
• design and adopt a suitable governance model already approved by the BGR
• design a suitable funding model whose principles have been approved by the BGR
• elaborate the ERIC statutes, presently under negotiation with governmental representatives
• elaborate and approve a data policy document (under revision by the governmental representatives)
• identify the ERIC host country; Italy has been chosen for hosting the legal seat through a bidding process
• obtain the support from National Governments to join the ERIC (as demonstrated by 19 LoI).
Thanks to the successful conclusion of its preparatory phase, EPOS is able to design, plan and start its implementation phase toward construction and operation.

Project Results:
The European Plate Observing System (EPOS) is the integrated solid Earth Sciences research infrastructure approved by the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) and included in its Roadmap in December 2008.
The goal of EPOS is to offer and integrate tools and data to promote and facilitate innovative approaches for a better understanding of the physical processes controlling earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, unrest episodes, and tsunamis as well as those driving tectonics and Earth surface dynamics. This overarching goal will be achieved throughout the integration of the already existing and newly developed national and trans-national RIs that provide multidisciplinary data recorded by monitoring networks, acquired in laboratory experiments, and/or produced by computational simulations. The establishment of EPOS will, therefore, foster worldwide interoperability in Earth sciences and provide services to a broad community of researchers. This will promote major advances in the understanding of the dynamic processes occurring in the Earth, particularly relevant in the context of geo-resources and geo-hazards.
EPOS is a long-term integration plan of national and international RIs. As EPOS is an infrastructure integration effort rather than a pure research project, the type of results achieved during its preparatory phase go beyond scientific and technical, but address essential legal and governance, financial, and strategic issues. The activities of the EPOS Preparatory Phase project, as defined in the Description of Work (DoW), have been divided into eight complementary work packages, each containing various milestones and deliverables, dealing with managerial, scientific and technical, legal and governance, financial, and strategic work:
• WP1-Preparatory Phase Management, has addressed the overall management of the project as well as the consortium organization
• WP2-Legal work, WP3-Governance, WP4-Financial Plan covered the legal, the governance and the financial work, respectively
• WP5-Strategy has dealt with the EPOS strategic plan and oversee the implementation strategies for integrating the solid Earth scientific community
• WP6-Technical Preparation has coordinated all the technical work necessary for empowering the integration of the research infrastructures and the implementation of the e-infrastructure components
• WP7-Architecture & Implementation Plan was based on the solutions retained in WPs 2-4 concerning the legal, governance and financial work as well as the technical work in WP6, to define the architecture and the implementation plan for the EPOS construction in synergy with the strategic plan envisioned in WP5
• WP8-Stakeholders Interactions and Dissemination has been in charge of outreach, dissemination and training activities of the project and of the RIs promotion and user interaction.
The following paragraphs detail the results of the EPOS Preparatory Phase (PP) project.


Managerial Results
The EPOS PP management, namely the coordinator and the project management office (PMO), successfully coordinated the planned activities to accomplish all the expected results. The PMO has also guaranteed an effective and timely management of the administrative issues related to the Grant Agreement.
In order to secure the progress and quality of the project, EPOS PP has installed three bodies:
• Project Development Board (PDB) acting as the executive project team, it has been chaired by the project coordinator and formed by the leaders of the different EPOS PP Work Packages (see above). The role of the PDB has been to monitor and govern the development of the project and to translate the strategic decisions made by the Inter-Activity Preparatory Council and the Board of Governmental Representatives into actions.
• Inter-Activity Preparatory Council (IAPC) composed by one representative for each contracting partner, has been in charge of maintaining an overview of the EPOS PP project and its progress toward the construction of the infrastructure.
• Board of Governmental Representatives (BGR), this board is still active and it will transform into the EPOS ERIC General Assembly as soon as the EPOS ERIC will enter in force; it consists of one representative for each Ministry or Research Council of the EPOS PP partners. Its role has been to inform and direct the IAPC and PDB on the basis of national positions and developments, as well as to involve the national funding agencies and governments and convince them to support the EPOS enterprise.
The above-mentioned project bodies were supported by three advising boards:
• Advisory Board representing the external evaluation and support body to the management of the project, and overseeing the project development, as well as the various outreach activities; the Advisory Board also provided expert opinions and support on specific issues.
• Data Providers & Users Commission supported the management of the research infrastructure to promote open access to all the interested users and evaluated the integration of data providers and the services provided to users.
• ICT Board provided expert support and evaluated the e-infrastructure implementation plan as well as the development of an architectural model for the EPOS infrastructure.
It is important to point out that all expected results planned for driving EPOS PP towards the implementation phase have been achieved also thank to additional technical/financial skills and human resources provided by partners.
In particular, it should be noted that all the deadlines, including initial and intermediate technical and financial reports and other deliverables, have been respected. The few minor delays were due primarily to the rescheduling of priorities. The design and approval of the EPOS roadmap (Figure 3), indeed, was key to identifying priority actions to progress during the preparatory phase and the milestones identified within the DoW have been extremely important to monitor the progress of the project.

FIGURE 3 HERE

The EPOS roadmap towards construction was intended to ensure that stated goals, tasks, deliverables and milestones were appropriately defined and performed. The roadmap comprised of four stages. The first stage, the “Identification”, was completed in May 2012. This was followed by the second stage, “Design” incorporating the specifications drawn up by the first stage. The “Design” stage is described in the M36 periodic report. The third stage, “Validation & Testing” ensured the operability of infrastructure prototype design. Validation and testing were completed during the summer of 2014, and the final deliverables, including prototypes and implementation plans, were then reported (M48: stage 4, “Delivery”). This final stage will form the basis for the EPOS Implementation Phase.
EPOS PMO has dedicated resources to organize events to effectively engage the community and the stakeholders. All the planned events have been organized and successfully conducted. Additional meetings, not included in the DoW, but considered strategic for the EPOS construction (e.g. Workshop on the EPOS strategy for Geo-Resources), have been organized.
EPOS, by integrating the existing, but also anticipating new research infrastructures aims to promote open access to geophysical and geological data and to modelling and processing tools with the final goal of enabling a step change in multidisciplinary scientific research for Earth Sciences to help solving the grand challenges facing the Earth and the society through solid Earth science. (Details about the EPOS Data Policy and Access Rules document are provided in the “Legal and Governance Results” section). In order to govern the integration of such complex landscape, EPOS has a planned architecture (further details in the “Scientific and Technical Results” section), designed by the scientific community and approved by the Board of Governmental Representatives, that, taking into account technical, governance, legal, and financial issues, will allow the enterprise to work as a single, but distributed, sustainable research infrastructure.
The project made use of a widely tested process for the management of risks by identifying, analysing and prioritizing risks inherent in the project and then by determining the appropriate actions to eliminate or mitigate them. The Risk assessment should evaluate the potential severity of the risks and thereby identify where to focus attention and resources in mitigating them. During the preparatory phase, EPOS set a three-level system to manage risks: EPOS Risk Management Policy setting out the principles, outlining the priorities, and instructing the project executive to put in place and to follow the EPOS Risk Management Plan. The Policy and Plan are supported by a dynamic EPOS Risk Register, which was reviewed by the PDB.
The Risk Management Policy provided the overarching “ground rules” and was presented to and approved by the BGR and IPC. It affirms the EPOS commitment to risk management, assigns responsibilities, and set out the organisation’s priorities. The Risk Management Policy document produced by the EPOS preparatory phase has been updated and used for the design of the EPOS IP proposal. The Risk Management Plan must cover the processes and activities to be undertaken in order to give effect to the Risk Management Policy. The Risk Register comprises a frequently updated database listing all the identified risks, a current assessment of the threat(s) they represent to the success of EPOS, the entities responsible for taking appropriate action, the potential action, and its current status. The PDB was responsible for regular review of the potentially most significant threats and was in charge to inform the PMO of its decisions and measures taken to mitigate these risks. The Risk Management Plan and the first release of the Risk Register represented a WP1 deliverable (D1.2); they were approved by the PDB and brought to discussion at the IPC and to the BGR.
The risk assessment has been prepared based on a pre-defined scheme including: (i) the risk number, (ii) a brief description of the risk, (iii) who identified the risk, (iv) the likelihood of occurrence, (v) potential impact, (vi) the resulting exposure, (vii) the urgency of mitigation, (viii) the person(s) responsible for mitigation (risk owner), (ix) the mitigation plan and (x) who will verify the effects of mitigation actions. A crucial step in risk management is the identification of critical risks. These critical risks have been grouped in three categories: technical, financial, and strategic. Table 2 details the key critical risks that are still threatening the EPOS implementation phase.

TABLE 2 HERE

Scientific and Technical Results
The specific technical work carried out during the EPOS PP resulted in the: i) engagement of a wide variety of solid Earth science data providers (communities), ii) definition of the functional architecture and iii) design of a prototype that, together with the design of the EPOS ICS, is the final and fundamental scientific and technical achievement of the EPOS Preparatory Phase.
i) Engagement of the communities (data providers)
The most up-to-date information about EPOS communities (see also Figure 1) is available on RIDE (Research Infrastructure Database, http://www.epos-eu.org/ride), which is an interactive database assessing and listing all individual national infrastructures within EPOS. Importantly, RIDE contains information about RIs, but not their scientific data (waveforms, images, etc). The complete picture of communities engaged in the EPOS PP is summarized in Table 3 along with the products provided by these communities. In the table the diverse communities are listed by scientific field and corresponding EPOS PP thematic or “Working Groups” (WG). Table 2 illustrates the multidisciplinary nature of EPOS. The WGs’ efforts resulted in the TCS implementation plan, whereas the wide diversity of data providers involved in EPOS, represents a measure of the IT challenge for data and services provision.
An important step in the engagement of communities as data providers was the definition of data, data products, and services. During the EPOS PP the communities agreed that Data and Data Products integrated in EPOS are classified according to the specific (scientific-driven) taxonomy as follows:
• Level 0: basic data (e.g. seismograms, gravity, SA Radar)
• Level 1: data products from (nearly) automated procedures (e.g. earthquake locations, earthquake magnitudes, soil CO2 fluxes, fumaroles parameters)
• Level 2: data products from scientific investigations (e.g. earthquake source models, chemical analysis of magmatic rocks, global models of geomagnetic field)
• Level 3: data products from complex analyses or community-shared products (e.g. hazards maps, catalogue of active faults, ash dispersal modelling, lava flow modelling).



EPOS has taken a structured approach to quality. The products and services that EPOS plans to offer to the research community are almost entirely based on the data and data products made available to it by national Research Infrastructures, and other data providers through the Thematic Core Services. This relies on data control and standardisation by the thematic communities. EPOS is likely to have limited resources for checking data provided to it. EPOS plans to address this issue in a variety of ways. The proposed ICT systems will specify the origin of all data and information that enters the system and track its use. EPOS has started to support and initiate the development of relevant standards and formats, and should only accept data from sources that meet these standards. The most robust for control of data quality will be the contracts and service level agreements with providers, which will specify appropriate quality standards. EPOS-PP began to draft templates for these contracts and service level agreements including appropriate reference to quality, and EPOS IP will continue and refine that process. Nonetheless, it is recognised that the substantive tasks of negotiating the detail of these agreements with providers and making them work will be the responsibility of the future EPOS-ERIC management

TABLE 3 HERE

ii) The Functional Architecture
Before technically detailing the EPOS Functional Architecture (Figure 4, see also Figure 2) it is very important to remind that this is only one aspect of the whole EPOS Architecture which has been designed and built taking into account also governance, legal, and financial aspects.

FIGURE 4 HERE

The National Research Infrastructures (NRIs) The existing and operational NRIs represent the underpinning EPOS data providers that will guarantee access to quality-checked data and products. The EPOS architecture ensures that new RIs as they become operational can be integrated in future. The existing solid Earth science NRIs which support the EPOS integration plan are listed in the RIDE database (www.epos-eu.org/ride/). RIs contributing to EPOS will continue to be owned and managed at a national level. These have a significant economic value both in terms of construction and yearly operational costs, which are typically covered by national investments that must continue during EPOS implementation, construction and operation. The economic value of the existing national RIs presently engaged in the EPOS integration plan is larger than €400 million. Moreover, the national governments maintain the 256 RIs declared so far in EPOS by providing an overall annual operational budget of approximately € 90 million.
The Thematic Core Services (TCS) are the community-specific integration (e.g., seismology, volcanology or geodesy). They represent transnational governance frameworks where data and services are provided to answer scientific questions and where each community discusses their specific implementation, best practices and sustainability strategies as well as legal and ethical issues. The TCS were designed during the Preparatory Phase taking into account the requirements of the different EPOS communities. The fact that ten WGs (see Table 2) contributed to EPOS demonstrates the multidisciplinary breadth of the integration plan and the potential impact of the community building aspect of EPOS. TCS will be interoperable with ICS thanks to appropriate ICT solutions (the compatibility layer). The designed TCS have been grouped in existing, developing and envisioned categories in order to classify their preparedness to enter into the Implementation Phase as well as to adopt a roadmap that will allow EPOS to progressively involve all TCS. Existing TCS are those that are operational and have a plan to become interoperable with ICS. Developing TCS are those that have an effective implementation plan and that will be soon ready to build new services to users.
The Integrated Core Services (ICS) represent the novel e-infrastructure that will allow access to multidisciplinary data, products (including synthetic data from simulations, processing and visualization tools), and services to different stakeholders, including but not limited to the scientific community (i.e., users). The key element of the ICS in EPOS (see also Figure 2) will be a central hub (ICS-C) where users can discover and access data and data products available in the TCS and NRIs as well as access a set of service for integrating and analysing multidisciplinary data. The technical interface between TCS and ICS is the compatibility layer, which guarantees communication and interoperability. The ICS-C single-sited (replicated for resilience) e-infrastructure will include the EPOS portal and its key functions: the Application Programming Interface (API), the metadata catalogue, the system manager and the services that will allow the data discovery, the interactions with users as well as the access, download and integration of data. The ICS-C will also provide access to distributed resources which form the distributed ICS (ICS-d) and include access to supercomputing facilities as well as to visualization, processing and modelling tools that need not be centralised. ICS-d may be (a) additional computing/storage/detector array facilities outside the scope of EPOS; (b) nodes providing general software services used across all TCS such as input/validation, data management, analytics, simulation, mining, visualisation; (c) replicates/mirrors of ICS-C in distributed locations for resilience and performance.

iii) The Prototype development
The prototype (http://epos.cineca.it/) developed during EPOS PP validates the theoretical e-architecture of the design, demonstrating its feasibility.
Graphic User Interface (GUI)
The development of the EPOS prototype is based on software developed in collaboration with the VERCE project. The prototype is programmed in Javascript and uses GeoEXT and the Sencha framework to organize the user interface. The “Application” integrates data from several different resources using different techniques. A detailed description of those different resources will be given in the following chapters. The main visualisation element, the map of the application, is composed of multiple layers of OGC Web Map Services (WMS) with adjustable transparency. Depending on the selected products, a search request to the application triggers search requests to the EPOS extended CERIF catalogue (Common European Research Information Format: an EU recommendation to member States). Additional queries are sent to community specific web services that return data in domain specific formats. The data are parsed and stored on client side. The data with spatial information are automatically visualised on the map. Filters can be applied after the information is returned from all services. For example, for seismic event data, filtering through some geodetic parameters– as crust thickness of the Earth – can be applied. The filtered information is organized in a tabbed view and spatially characterized products are displayed on the map (Figure 5).

FIGURE 5 HERE

The user interface of the prototype is a Javascript application that is displayed with an internet browser. It collects and displays information of the extended CERIF catalogue and the result of embedded services. The browser window is divided in four areas
• Area (1) in the upper left is used to generate a search request to the system. The user selects here EPOS-products from the products menu and generates a search request by entering information that should be common to all selected products. This common information could be spatial coverage, temporal coverage and keywords for the free text search.
• Area (2) in the middle left shows the results in tabs. There is one tab per product group. The visualization of on the map can be toggled here. If applicable, further information can be entered to refine a search on the selected product group. If a result entry of a result tab is chosen, the associated marker of the map (Area (4)) is selected and displays full information in a popup window.
• Area (3) in the left bottom is used to show a legend for the information displayed on the map.
• Area (4) holds a map, which initially shows the European region. Visual information is organized in several layers. On the map the location of search results are displayed by using markers of different colour. By selecting a marker the associated result tab entry in Area (2) is selected and further information is displayed in a popup window.

System Manager Software
The development of the prototype started with the contribution of several institutes from the Seismology, Geology and Geodesy domain. The different service-providers are listed in Figure 6, together with the used specific connection technique.

FIGURE 6 HERE

The EFEHR initiative (European Framework for Earthquake Hazard and Risk) offers WMS with Hazard and Risk maps for Europe as products of seismological analysis, which are implemented as Map layer in the demonstrator.
The OneGeology – Europe project delivered by a network of geologic institutions offered a common representation of the European geology as WMS, which has also been implemented in the demonstrator. The Basemap, national borders and a representation of Faults are also implemented as map-layers. Information, which is stored in the CERIF based central metadata catalogue, like person, RIs, etc., are accessed via the CERIF-XML services.
ORFEUS (Observatories and Research Facilities for European Seismology) is offering a full list of station information of the EIDA initiative (European Integrated Data Archive) via the FDSN-Station Webservice. Furthermore, metadata of seismic waveforms and waveform data streams from Orfeus stations are provided.
A list of seismic events is offered by EMSC (European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre) via the FDSN-Event Webservice. In addition, the FDSN-Event Webservice of AHEAD (European Archive of Historical EArthquake Data) provides data for historical seismic events. Currently waveform data is provided via FDSN-Dataselect for stations of the Orfeus network.
A special filtering option, at least for seismological events, is the limitation of the result list for specific range of crustal thickness. Due to the lack of Webservices, which provide such information, the data are taken directly from a local file with 1° tiles over whole Europe, i.e. Europe is divided into squares with an edge length of one degree. The Crust-Information have been taken from the publication of Laske et al. (2013) “Update on CRUST1.0 - A 1-degree Global Model of Earth's Crust”. This is an example of how additional services could be included in the general ICS framework, if provided at TCS level.
GNSS data are integrated into the prototype via webservices of the GSAC repository software. Through GSAC station metadata and geodetic dataset files are made accessible.
The application is developed in the Model View Controller (MVC) architectural pattern using Javascript with the frameworks Sencha Ext, GeoExt, and Openlayers. The directory structure of the project follows the recommendations suggested by Sencha, i.e. depending on the tasks executed the files are in the directories “app/view/”, “app/controller”, or “app/store”. A class chart visualizing dependencies and interactions can be downloaded as PDF or graphML to do additional layout tasks with yEd Graph Editor.
Metadata Catalogue
The CERIF metadata catalogue holds information about Research Infrastructures (RI), persons, assets, data, budget, and services. It was built a) migrating data from the RIDE database, b) manually entering new records and c) automatically retrieving results of interest. To store the information provided by RIDE, the vocabulary of the CERIF schema had to be modified to store spatial information of equipment and facilities.
In addition to the information originating from RIDE, information about webservices operated by EPOS TCS are stored in the CERIF catalogue. The detailed description of this new implementation of CERIF are out of the scope of this document. However, a detailed description has been produced in the dedicated EPOS PP deliverables. Here is important to recall that, for the purpose of better handling metadata for integration, a set of common metadata elements of the services included in the demonstrator was created. This work, an undergoing process that is subject to change within the first half of the Implementation Phase when new services will be made available to the ICS.

Legal and Governance Results
The overarching objective of the Team dealing with the EPOS PP legal and governance issues was to bring the project to the level of legal maturity required to enable the transition from a loose network of existing infrastructures to EPOS, a single, integrated, distributed European research infrastructure. In general, a major, general difficulty in setting up RIs of European interest between countries is the lack of an adequate legal framework allowing the creation of appropriate partnerships. For this reason the EC proposed the European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) as legal framework for European RIs, and the first goal of the legal and governance work was to investigate the feasibility of creating EPOS as an ERIC. Other important objectives have been to negotiate and obtain the mutual agreement of countries and funding agencies on the EPOS legal structure, draft the statutes of the legal entity for the construction phase, and to review intellectual property rights issues in the context of the EPOS data policy. All these objectives, and many others, have been accomplished during the four years of the EPOS PP. In particular, EPOS PP succeeded in:
• identifying governmental representatives (Board of Governmental Representatives – BGR) for each country. 18 Countries attending and voting during the last BGR meeting where among other issues it was also established the host country for the EPOS ERIC
• selecting the ERIC as the legal model for EPOS
• selecting Italy as the hosting country of the EPOS legal seat after a transparent evaluation of the Italian and French proposals (Italy and France submitted their Expression of Interest to host the ERIC)
• collecting Letters of Support to join EPOS-ERIC from 19 out of the 23 EPOS PP countries
• designing the EPOS ERIC governance model (detailed in the BOX 1 below) which obtained the BGR approval
• elaborating the Data policy and Access Rules document, approved by IAPC and BGR that have then passed the documents to national legal offices for the final legal processing (in BOX 2, the inspiring principles and main issues of this document are reported)
• elaborating the first draft of the EPOS-ERIC Statutes that have been sent to national Governments for feedbacks and comments; they will likely be finalized and approved by the BGR on September 2015
• establishing a BGR Chair and two co-Chairs to strengthen the organization of this body, and deciding to keep the BGR involved during the implementation phase in preparation for the establishment of the EPOS-ERIC
• defining a clear roadmap for finalizing pending legal and governance issues necessary to speed up the establishment of the EPOS-ERIC
• harmonizing the work of the ERIC hosting country to move on the ERIC establishment following a shared and planned approach.

BOX 1 HERE

BOX 2 HERE


Financial Results
The main objective of the Team dealing with the EPOS PP financial issues was to provide the financial basis and arrangements necessary for the EPOS implementation, construction, and operation by defining a sustainable funding model for the EPOS infrastructure and its associated services. In particular, because during its last meeting (September 30th-October 1st, 2014) the BGR approved the EPOS ERIC components as being the Executive and Coordination Office (ECO) and the central hub of Integrated Core Services (ICS-C). Cost estimates for the EPOS ECO and ICS-C were prepared and approved in Autumn 2012. The EPOS ECO cost assessments were considered realistic, and simply revised to take into account the selection of Italy as the EPOS ERIC host country, and used as the basis for subsequent work. In parallel, the Team carried out cost assessments for the TCS in collaboration with WGs. This cost assessment represents the starting point for the TCS implementation plan and it will be revised during the first two year of the EPOS Implementation Phase (2015-2107).
The financial plan and the associated funding model compiled during EPOS PP will be the starting point for the implementation phase (2015-2019). The core aims of the EPOS Implementation Phase are to establish the EPOS-ERIC and the TCS-ICS implementation. Over these first five years after the preparatory phase, the total cost estimate for EPOS-ERIC ECO reaches 3.54 M€, on average it represents 708.000 € per year. Nevertheless, it is considered that from year 2 (of the EPOS IP project) onwards, the yearly costs of the ECO will approximate 750.000 € yearly. This represents the average scenario for EPOS to be operable. The proposal made by Italy, the future host of the EPOS legal seat, differs from that cost estimate, promoting a larger Executive and Coordination Office and consisting of a yearly host premium of 700.000 € and by human resources seconded by the host institution (INGV). The total cost estimate for ICS Central Hub (ICS-C) is 7.8 M€, on average it represents 1.560.000 € per year. The call to host the ICS-C will be launched during 2015. It is expected to know the ICS-C host country by the beginning of 2016. Therefore the amount of the host premium for the ICS-C is presently unknown.
This financial model will be part of the application submitted to the European Commission when EPOS applies for the ERIC status, since it concerns the ECO and the ICS-C. However, in order to finalize the EPOS-ERIC financial plan, critical decisions remain to be taken by the BGR. The discussions on the calculation of the total cash needed to operate EPOS ERIC, as well as the issue of the distribution of Membership Fees among EPOS ERIC Members have already been started during EPOS Preparatory Phase, but the formal decisions are still pending. They will be taken during the two meetings of the Board of Governmental Representatives that are planned in 2015. The objective is to have this process completed within 2015, in order to apply for ERIC status by the end of the year.
In general, during the four years duration of the EPOS PP the Team in charge of financial issues has accomplished to:
• elaborate the EPOS funding model (detailed in BOX 3 below) for the five years following the preparatory phase (2015-2019); the model has been also discussed during few BGR meetings
• obtain additional national and international support to develop national research infrastructures (NRIs) during EPOS PP (≈42 M€), making them ready for EPOS integration
• quantify the economic value of the national research infrastructures (NRIs) involved in the integration process (≈400 M€) and the associated yearly costs for M&O (≈90 M€/year)
• identify funding sources to support the EPOS implementation phase
• start the discussion within the BGR on the approach to compute the EPOS-ERIC cash needed to run the ERIC (that is, the total amount of membership fees) as well as the rules for its partitioning among ERIC members.

BOX 3 HERE

Strategic Results
The strategic work carried out during the EPOS PP has made EPOS known and appreciated beyond its partnership and the solid Earth science domain. The overarching goal has been to define, develop, coordinate and implement strategies to integrate the solid Earth scientific community as we move towards the Construction Phase. In particular, the key strategic objectives of EPOS PP were to:
• harmonize national implementation
• analyse the landscape of solid Earth research infrastructures and identify gaps
• integrate the European solid Earth science community
• link with other European and global initiatives
• ensure the socio-economic added value of EPOS
• plan high-quality services to users
• design the next generation of Research Infrastructures
• analyse the conditions to foster mobility and transnational access (TA).
The majority of the involved RIs (www.epos-eu.org/ride) are funded through governmental resources, often directly via national research organisations. A consequence of having the governmental and funding agencies already committed to provide financial support to national RIs is that this has facilitated the EPOS inclusion on national roadmaps. Presently, EPOS is on the national roadmap of 11 countries and its inclusion is expected soon for other 2 countries. EPOS has also created an effective organisation of the different solid Earth disciplines through 10 working groups reflecting communities at various stages of internal organisation in collaboration. These working groups include representatives from both the data providers and the research user communities.
Many data providers have been actively engaged with the EPOS Preparatory Phase, with some coordination at European level occurring through previous EU funded initiatives. In seismology, well-established collaborative initiatives, for example ORFEUS (www.orfeus-eu.org) and EMSC (www.emsc-csem.org) are actively engaging the data provider community. For other disciplines such as geology and space observations, EPOS directly interacts with existing European scale organizations like EuroGeoSurveys (www.eurogeosurveys.org, coordinating OneGeology Europe) and the European Space Agency (ESA), respectively. For GNSS data (geodesy) and volcanology EPOS has directly involved EUREF (www.epncb.oma.be) and the European component of WOVO (World Organization of Volcano Observatories, www.wovo.org) in the integration activities.
At a global scale EPOS has become a GEO (Group of Earth Observations, www.earthobservations.org) Principal Participating Organization and it is contributing to the geo-hazards supersites initiative (http://supersites.earthobservations.org) through its federative approach for solid Earth in Europe. Three supersites projects funded by the EC are contributing to the EPOS integration plan addressing with the Icelandic (FUTUREVOLC) and Italian (MEDSUV) volcanoes and the Marmara Sea tectonic area (MARSITE). The research infrastructures implemented in these projects will be included in EPOS and the core team of data providers will participate to the EPOS IP project. The GEO supersite initiative also provides a framework for collaborating with global data providers such as UNAVCO and IRIS in the USA and similar organizations worldwide. The scientific research community engagement goes beyond the solid Earth science domain and has been intensified with Earth Science Europe (www.bgs.ac.uk/EarthScienceEurope), which produced a European roadmap for solid Earth sciences in Europe.
Many e-science projects have been linked to EPOS and will provide IT solutions for the construction of ICS and TCS components. VERCE (www.verce.eu) will provide data-intensive e-science environment and solutions to implement scientific gateway for seismological data. At thematic services level, EUDAT for seismology (www.eudat.eu/), UNAVCO for geodesy (http://facility.unavco.org/data/gsacws/gsacws.html) and GENESI DEC for satellite observations (http://www.genesi-dec.eu/) are among those projects and initiatives that have contributed to the design of the EPOS services. Moreover, EPOS is acutely aware of issues in the US geo- and cyber-communities regarding the construction of integrated services. To this task EPOS is collaborating with NSF programs and initiatives (such as EarthCube - http://earthcube.ning.com/) and has participated to EC projects dedicated to the development of a bilateral cooperation framework with US (COOPEUS, www.coopeus.eu). EPOS is also involved in Euro-US joint initiatives aimed at creating shared approach to the delicate issue of data production, description and reuse/sharing (RDA – Research Data Alliance, rd-alliance.org), and in wider project dealing with Environmental data access and sharing as ENVRIplus (ENVironmental Research Infrastructure, http://envri.eu).
All results achieved in EPOS by the strategy Team can be seen as direct contributions to three main connected activities, namely: (i) stakeholders’ interaction strategies, (ii) communication policy and (iii) socio-economic impact. The identification of appropriate and targeted interaction strategies with stakeholders is extremely important to effectively engage the communities and create the necessary community building. The application of these strategies requires an efficient communication policy defining the tools to link the EPOS partners to the different identified stakeholders. In this way, we have identified stakeholders, as well as what they can do for EPOS and what EPOS can represent for them, and we have adopted a communication policy to foster cooperation and interactions through a pragmatic approach. The overall framework created by these activities will directly contribute to assess the socio economic impact and the added value of EPOS. The achievements by M36 allowed the definition of the “theoretical framework” on these three key undertakings as well as to start the implementation of these strategies, policy and impact assessment.
The design of the new generation of research infrastructures needs the involvement of all communities and stakeholders to tackle the scientific and technological challenges jointly with a proper sustainability plan including legal and financial issues.

Potential Impact:
EPOS aims to integrate national and trans-national research infrastructures (RIs) for solid Earth Science (including land-based geophysical monitoring networks, in-situ observatories, experimental laboratories) to provide seamless, open access to geophysical and geological data, modeling tools, and services, to enabling a step change in multidisciplinary scientific research into diverse fields, including seismic and volcanic hazards, environmental changes as well as energy and long-term sustainability (geo-resources management and exploitation). This integration will promote cross-disciplinary and transnational research and foster scientific, technological and ICT innovation enabling the scientific community to study the same phenomena from a multidisciplinary point of view, at different temporal and spatial scales. The EPOS long plan for the integration of research infrastructures started in the Preparatory Phase will results in advancing solid Earth science in Europe, driving innovation for science adding value to existing national research investment and supporting a safe and prosperous European society. Therefore, the impact of the whole plan will be relevant for both science and society. Moreover, following its mission, EPOS intends to create the prerequisites for Europe to maintain a leading role in solid Earth science research. Therefore, in addition to its overarching goal and outcome of advancing solid Earth science, EPOS will also have significant societal implications resulting in a measurable socio-economic impact (SEI). The EPOS potential impact can be measured through the actual implementation of the services, by the continued and further engagement of stakeholders as well as by the exploitation of products and services for the advancement of basic science, geo-hazards assessment, risk mitigation and a sustainable management of geo-resources. Currently, an already demonstrable impact of the EPOS initiative includes:
• 25 countries involved
• 141 research institutions supporting the integration plan
• 256 national research infrastructures engaged
• 4 international organizations involved (ORFEUS, EMSC, EUREF, INTERMAGNET)
• 4939 seismic stations integrated for data provision
• 2272 GPS receivers to be integrated
• 464 TeraBytes of seismic data to be preserved
• several PetaBytes of solid Earth Science data available
• 118 Laboratories involved (experimental, analytic and analogue facilities)
• 828 instruments operating in these laboratories
• thousands of potential users identified and expected to utilise the infrastructure.
During the EPOS PP, a Team was created with the goal of analyse and report the expected impact, including the socio-economic impact and added value of the complex, distributed, multidisciplinary EPOS enterprise from the perspective of wide range of EPOS stakeholders.
For this aim the Team firstly identified the EPOS stakeholders as follows:
I. Data and service providers from the solid Earth science community
For the purposes of EPOS, a data or service provider is an institution, consortium or project aimed at collecting and distributing direct observation datasets, or products derived from these primary datasets. The following sub-groups are recognized in this community:
• National data and service providers;
• International data and service providers;
• Data products providers
II. Scientific user community (hereinafter, the users)
In general the scientific user community includes:
• Researchers and institutes from the solid Earth sciences
• Solid Earth science community projects
• Training and educational institutions, projects and initiatives
• Researchers and organizations from outside the solid Earth sciences
III. Governmental organizations
EPOS recognizes the following levels of national / European governmental stakeholders:
• National governments
• Funding agencies
• Civil protection authorities
• European Commission
IV. Industry and other data and service providers
V. General public.

The EPOS Team, then has evaluated a number of existing SEI analysis in order to ascertain whether any of the methodology and tools deployed were applicable to use to understand the EPOS SEI. These include EU funded FP7 projects such as ERINA+ and EvaRIO. It was concluded there was no existing or proposed methodology that could be easily followed for a complex project like EPOS, which will be a large, distributed, and multidisciplinary RI, and still at the development stages. Thus, it was decided to evaluate the EPOS RI using the Technopolis framework (http://www.technopolis-group.com/) that identifies the following 4 key areas of the socio-economic impact for large RIs: i) Scientific value, ii) Capacity building, iii) Economic value, iv) Societal value.
Generally speaking, EPOS fits the above-mentioned four key areas as follows:
• Scientific value: create excellent science opportunities for better answers for people and governments measured by data and products provision to users (scientists) and other stakeholders through novel services;
• Capacity building: build scientific and societal capacities for new generations measured by stakeholders’ engagement, research opportunities through use/re-use of data and products as well as public access to geo-hazards and geo-resources tutorials and dissemination material;
• Economic value: open new business opportunities for the local and global economies, measured by the involvement of the private sector in using data and products as well as by the impact of hazard assessment and risk mitigation actions for industry (hydraulic fracturing, mining companies, geo-resources exploitation in general, aviation security, re-insurance assessments companies, new assessments of building codes for earthquake hazardous areas, environmental assessment industry);
• Societal value: foster scientific, engineering and information technology innovation for a better risk management of geo and environmental hazards measured by contributions to increase resilience to hazards.
In particular, from the perspective of both, the entire project and its key disciplines, the assessment has been accomplished by estimating two indicators for each of the four Technopolis framework categories: i) Relative importance of each of four areas, on a scale 0-100%; ii) Impact of each area, as low, medium, or high.
The formal SEI assessment confirmed that the greatest impact of EPOS is in its Scientific value, with a HIGH impact and a dominant relative importance of 50%. By bringing together new and existing resources and knowledge across different fields, technologies, and disciplines, EPOS will enable cutting edge Earth scientific research in Europe and beyond. It will deliver targeted services for the wide range of stakeholder categories across related industries, in particular academia. The individual EPOS disciplines scored similarly (the summary in BOX 4 reports only those with some peculiar values), with Scientific value area scored at HIGH Impact and the Relative importance of 35%-50%. The impact areas of Capacity building and Societal value were assessed as MEDIUM and with relative importance of about 20%. Interestingly, EPOS-Seismology views Capacity building to be HIGH impact and somewhat higher relative importance. At the other extreme, the Magnetic Observations expect Capacity building having LOW impact reflecting the fact that the geomagnetic community is already well integrated and does not foresee EPOS leading to a dramatic increase of its capacities. Societal value of EPOS was evaluated to have MEDIUM impact for the project and for all disciplines but one, Volcanology, for which is HIGH. This is linked to the ambitious plans of this community to provide, through EPOS, new services related to the volcanic hazard and the risk mitigation of volcanic threat. The relative impact for the Societal value is in the range of 15%-30% across the board. Finally, the Economic impact of EPOS was deemed to have LOW impact and low relative importance for all the disciplines except Induced Seismicity, the community with strongest ties to industry.
The SEI study of EPOS confirmed views shared by the broad EPOS community regarding its wide-ranging and multi-faceted impact. The study is a first step in establishing an SEI baseline and setting-up a framework that will capture all expected as well as not currently foreseen SEIs of EPOS implementation and operation. EPOS will continue to revise its expected SEI, and the EPOS community will continue to play an important role in this process. A summary of the general benefit of EPOS is reported in BOX 5.

BOX 4 HERE

BOX 5 HERE

The EPOS PP project reached and engages diverse stakeholder groups (see Figure 7) by establishing a communication strategy that provided the right dissemination routes for each specific stakeholder. The overarching aim of the EPOS communication policy has been and will continue to contribute to EPOS community building by i) training the next generation of scientists in new ways of facing challenges; ii) improving the capability of society to understand scientific achievements and their use; iii) increasing the resilience of society to natural hazard by facilitating preparedness and awareness.

FIGURE 7 HERE

In particular, the relevant identified stakeholders have been engaged as follows:
I. Data and service providers from the solid Earth science community
• National data and service providers. The national data providers have been actively engaged in the EPOS Preparatory Phase, which builds on previous and on-going European-level coordination through other EU funded projects. The national RIs that provide data to EPOS are existing, operational and funded by National Research Organisations and other funding agencies. The most up-to-date information on the national and international data providers identified and contacted is available in the Research Infrastructure Database for EPOS (www.epos-eu.org/ride)
• International data and service providers. While engaging the national data providers, EPOS has, where possible, coordinated its plans for building services at the thematic level by collaborating with data providing institutions at the international level. Interactions occurs with Orfeus, EMSC, EuroGeoSurveys, ESA, EUREF, INTERMAGNET, UNAVCO and the other organizations and projects listed in chapter 5.
• Data products providers. The third sub-group is made up of providers of derived products. These are scientists that produce models from data analyses and simulations, data products and particular services (such as products repositories) for EPOS.
II. Scientific user community
• Researchers from the solid Earth science. This stakeholder category is more varied then the Data Providers. They have been contacted through the participation of EPOS to the main earth science symposium such as GEO.
• Solid Earth science community projects. These are scientific groups participating to projects or other initiatives that are incubators of future data services and data products collections (Nera, Series, Share, Reakt, Supersites, Vuelco, SHARE, SIGMA, COOPEUS, etc).
• Training and educational institutions, projects and initiatives. These stakeholders (in particular those organized in Nemoh, Quest, Topomod and Memovolc) have been contacted in order to create the proper synergies to prepare the community to effectively exploit the EPOS e-infrastructure and its related products and services and thus be more competitive. To this end, working to create and increase the community capacity building is the basis to capture the value demand from scientific users and thus ensuring a sustainable scientific innovation.
• Researchers and organizations from outside the solid Earth sciences. EPOS has also established links (EMSO, SIOS, IAGOS) and collaborations (ENVRI) with organizations and initiatives belonging to other Earth science domains. In particular IT collaboration has been established with ENVRI for the deployment of services based on common metadata standards and technologies, as for instance OpenSearch.
III. Governmental organisations & funding agencies
The majority of RIs are funded through governmental resources, often directly via national research organizations. At the moment 139 institutions have declared RIs to integrate whereas 94 institutions are formally integrated into EPOS through the many existing national EPOS formal and informal consortia. To be able to govern such a complex and wide stakeholder category, EPOS is going to fund a legal consortium ERIC. To this end the Governmental Representatives of all the countries involved have been engaged in a board that met four times and that reached a consensus on the necessity to support the implementation of EPOS, the establishment of its legal seat and the next actions.
IV. Other data and service providers and users
• IT projects and experts. The relevant IT projects are providing solutions for the construction of some of the IT components needed to build the ICS and to implement the TCS. With VERCE it has been established a collaboration for data massive applications, whereas EPOS is collaborating with EUDAT in the fields of metadata e data storage using B2Stage and B2Safe services. Also other initiatives such as UNAVCO for geodesy (http://facility.unavco.org/data/gsacws/gsacws.html) and GENESI DEC for satellite observations (http://www.genesi-dec.eu/) have been engaged to explore common IT solutions. Moreover, EPOS is acutely aware of issues in the US geo- and cyber-communities regarding the construction of integrated services, which recently culminated in a re-start by the USA NSF. Their community now starts from scratch with a new initiative EarthCube (http://earthcube.ning.com/). To avoid a similar fate in Europe, the EPOS community aims to forge a close relationship between the EPOS ICS activities and the EarthCube developments (through COOPEUS and iCORDI projects for example).
• Industry. EPOS management is now developing a strategy to support local partners and promote the EPOS vision and services as they approach industrial stakeholders. Within this strategy the local contacts with industries and the initiatives that can support the establishment of relations at European level have been mapped. In particular, EPOS has been able to contact the industries dealing with the natural hazard, exploration, exploitation and management of natural resources in the Artic region. These are fields where geodynamic processes and the related monitoring institutions play a significant role, providing a substantial 58 contribution to the main objectives of EPOS.
• Private data and service providers. The EPOS IP will include a drive to engage private data and service providers, such as GPS commercial data, Data in geo-resources, etc. The EPOS Implementation Phase aims to include them specifically in the development of the services related to seismic hazard and risk.

During the preparatory phase EPOS used several communication channels:
1) Website (http://www.epos-eu.org). EPOS PP created a public website with information about the EPOS goals, vision and planning, the EPOS PP scope, activities, community and organisation, as well as practical news, links to other projects and a meeting / activity calendar. This public website was linked to from different EPOS PP partner websites.
2) Collaborative Area (http://www.epos-eu.org/extranet). A project collaboration area only accessible for people actively engaged with the EPOS PP project. The Collaborative Area (CA) is used for discussions, archiving, joint document editing, etc.
3) Demonstrator (http://epos.cineca.it). The integration of a selection of services from the Thematic Core Services (TCS).
4) Research Infrastructures database (RIDE, http://epos-couch.cloudant.com/epos-couch/_design/epos-couch/index.html). A database of RIs participating to EPOS which on November 2012 opened up to the public. Amongst others, its goal is to show the contents of the EPOS integration plan to all stakeholders.
5) EPOS Wiki (http://eposwiki.bo.ingv.it/index.php/Main_Page). The purpose of the wiki was to have a collaborative environment where documentation, updates, meetings minutes from WG7 meetings could be created collaboratively among the group of EPOS WG7 members and related technical stakeholders, as well as providing a source of knowledge about the technical developments of EPOS (e-architecture, used technologies, data and metadata standards, tutorials etc) to all involved partners.
6) Newsletter (http://www.epos-eu.org/newsletter/). EPOS publishes a newsletter aimed at disseminating news, events and research developments relevant to the EPOS Community and to the Solid Earth Science Community. It is dedicated to the people interested in the EPOS activities that wants to be informed about the effective integration of national RIs, development in projects and initiatives related to EPOS as well as the latest developments of the prototype e-science platform upon which EPOS will rely.
7) Social media. EPOS established social media channels to frequently communicate project messages via the internet to a wide-spread potential audience: i) Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/EPOS-European-Plate-Observing-System; ii) Twitter http://twitter.com/eposeu; iii) Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/112142744576944955969/posts.
8) Promotion material (http://www.epos-eu.org/news-and-pubblications/press.html#.VHijs2edCIA). To effectively promote the EPOS mission and goals, to professionally facilitate meetings, and to inform about EPOS achievements, remaining challenges, organization, and activities, EPOS PP created and distributed: i) its logo, a recognisable and professional brand for diverse editorials and templates useful for the various standard documents; ii) information brochures, flyers and posters; iii) dedicated information documents for specific stakeholder groups; iv) publications in media.
Meetings & Conferences (http://www.epos-eu.org/meetings/list-of-meetings.html) have been crucial for the EPOS promotion and dissemination activities. Besides organizing events to promote its mission and goals and to meet and engage different stakeholders, EPOS actively participated in several international meetings, conferences, and workshops organised within different existing projects, initiatives, and disciplines. For example, EPOS regularly participated in international conferences such as the IUGG General Assembly, the EGI Technical Forum, the GEO Plenary Sessions, the AGU Fall Meeting (San Francisco), the International Conference on RIs (ICRI), Planet Under Pressure and the EGI Community Forum, the EGU General Assembly with presentations and/or posters to inform and involve different stakeholders. In particular, EPOS PP project participated at the annual EGU General Assembly in Vienna to discuss progress, goals and challenges with users and data providers by regularly organizing a dedicated session “Integrated Research Infrastructures and Services to users: supporting excellence in a science for society”.
Furthermore, EPOS PP project participated to a large number of disciplinary, international projects and initiatives. An effort was to put in optimal communication and effective joint coordination with these different initiatives, among others: NERA, VERCE, EUDAT, ENVRI, EuroGEOSS, EuroGeoSurveys, ERA-MIN, PRACE. EPOS PP also organised the specific workshop on “The next generation of geophysical research infrastructures in Europe” held in Erice (Italy) on August-September 2013.

List of Websites:
EPOS – European Plate Observing System
www.epos-eu.org

Contact person
Massimo Cocco, senior researcher
Via di Vigna Murata 605
00143 Rome, Italy
massimo.cocco@ingv.it
epos@ingv.it
phone +39 06 51860401
fax: +39 06 51860565

Related information

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ISTITUTO NAZIONALE DI GEOFISICA E VULCANOLOGIA
Italy
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