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Emerging Technologies and Infrastructures

Grid Technologies

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Workshop on ERA and Grid Research

Date : 17 July 2003
Location : Brussels, Belgium (DG Information Society, European Commission, 33 Ave. de Beaulieu, Room 00/54)


Today several Grid Research initiatives are on-going or planned at national and on Community level. The various endeavours look rather disparate and fragmented. At the invitation of the Commission services of DG Information Society and Media - F2 "Grids for complex problem solving", 17 delegates representing funding authorities and research organisations competent on Grid technologies from 10 Member States and Accession Countries met on 17 July 2003 in Brussels. The objective of the meeting was to discuss opportunities for wider collaboration between national Grid research initiatives and the FPVI IST Strategic Objective on "Grid based systems for complex problem solving" in the context of the emerging European Research Area (ERA) towards the idea of launching an ERA Pilot Action on Grid Research.


Confirming the need for better co-operation and exchange among national and EU programmes related to Grid Research, the participants welcomed the initiative of the European Commission for the meeting. They expressed a genuine interest in, and enthusiastic support for the creation of an ERA pilot on Grid Research. There was a broad consensus on the relevance, importance and general objectives of such an ERA pilot. All representatives have endorsed the need for further action.

  • As a foundation, such an ERA pilot initiative should, inter alia, support the provision of a compendium of national and EU initiatives including an analysis of strengths, weaknesses and gaps at EU level. The identification of common interests and synergies should lead to better exchange and sharing of results, best practices and evaluation methods, as well as a more coherent approach towards standardisation and international collaborations.
  • The medium-to-longer term vision would be to develop a coherent approach on Grid Research in Europe, with a view to determining co-operation incentives between the different national and EU initiatives and to planning co-ordinated or joint initiatives, when appropriate. An Era Pilot on Grid Research should serve as a forum to meet every 4 to 6 months with participants from national funding authorities and national leaders of Grid research initiatives to fulfil the identified needs; the Commission would act as a facilitator in the process.
  • The model and approach for federating specific open middleware infrastructure initiatives (OMII), e.g. for supporting the development and delivery of production-level Grid middleware, should be further investigated by launching a separate workshop with industrial participation.
  • The necessity of broadening of the use of Grid technologies beyond eScience, towards its use in business and industry has been confirmed by the participants. Actions towards supporting early take-up and transfer of technology and knowledge from early adopters to other industrial or business sectors should be considered.
  • If Europe intends to compete with the leading global players (US, AP) it is forced to better co-ordinate its various, often fragmented efforts towards achieving a critical mass and more visible actions and impacts on international level. This should include both, the co-ordination among the research actors, but equally important, the collaboration among the funding authorities.
  • It was discussed whether the scope of an ERA pilot on Grid research should as well include deployment initiatives for the provision of Grid-based research infrastructures. Considering that the research community will soon only be one of many sectors using Grid technologies, the view to limit such ERA pilot on Grid research prevailed.
  • It has been broadly acknowledged that the multinational structure of Grid research in Europe should be maintained considering their intrinsic strengths. This would imply to continue developing individually national and EU programme visions for future Grid research initiatives while supporting multilateral exchange of experiences and plans towards a more complementary and co-ordinated approach on Grid Research in Europe.
  • The Italian representatives have invited all other participants to contribute towards the preparation of an IST Specific Support Action (SSA) for an ERA Pilot on Grid Research for submission under IST Call 2. Furthermore, the Italian representatives have announced that a political event on "Grid infrastructure and middleware", is being planned on 9 December 2003 in Rome under the Italian Presidency.

List of participants

Czech Republic
Prof. Ludek MATYSKA , Masaryk University
Dr. Claude RIBEYROL , Ministère Délégué de la Recherche et des Nouvelles Technologies
Prof. Dr. Alexander REINEFELD , ZIB
Dr. Sandor BOTTKA , Ministry of Education
Prof. Dr. Peter KACSUK , Magyar Tudomanyos Akademina Szamitastechnika
Prof. Francesco BELTRAME , Università di Genova
Prof. Marco VANNESCHI , Università di Pisa ISTI
Prof. Bob HERTZBERGER , University of Amsterdam
Dr. Jan JULIANUS , Ministry of Economic Affairs
Prof. Krzysztof ZIELINSKI , University of Mining and Metallurgy
United Kingdom
Prof. Tony HEY , EPSRC

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