by Donatella Castelli, Marc Taconet and Virginie Viollier
D4Science (DIstributed colLaboratories Infrastructure on Grid ENabled Technology 4 Science) is a two-year project which started in January 2008 and is co-funded by the European Commission's 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. D4Science follows the path initiated by GÉANT, EGEE, and DILIGENT aimed at creating networking, grid-based, and data-centric
The D4Science e-Infrastructure is designed for demanding science and serves virtual organizations affiliated to the fields of Environmental Monitoring and Fisheries and Aquaculture Resources Management. Communities are led by three international project participants: the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the WorldFish Center and the European Space Agency.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) hosted the first D4Science World User Meeting in Rome, Italy, 25-26 November 2009.
The objectives of the meeting were to:
- Follow up on opportunities and innovative projects implementing advanced e-Infrastructures for multi-disciplinary scientific communities;
- Share experiences, best practices and discuss the most recent advances in e-Infrastructures with emphasis on how to exploit possible synergies;
- Showcase the latest experiences in building advanced applications operating on distributed heterogeneous sources, like dynamic monitoring progress reports, and the most recent results in harmonisation and combination of distributed structured data sources;
- Identify the perspectives of the user communities and discuss the road map for D4Science-II (second phase of the D4Science project) Virtual Research Environments.
The D4Science World User meeting hosted an international audience of more than 80 experts from about 20 countries, plus distinguished guest speakers from the scientific and user communities whose in-depth knowledge of the subject and experience in the field represented an added value to the meeting and to the D4Science communities.
The audience was very diverse:
- Scientists and information managers from the User Communities related to D4Science who expect to make use of Virtual Research Environments in their daily work;
- Professionals from the information technology domain interested in, or actually taking part in development of e-infrastructures for their user communities;
- European Commission representatives and members of large International projects;
- D4Science, External Advisory Board, D4Science-II members;
- Policy and decision makers in the various above-mentioned fields.
The event provided the opportunity for participants to contribute to lively discussions and to share experiences. Representatives from international projects were invited to present and lead talks on how to build synergies. User dedicated sessions aimed at understanding how an e-infrastructure such as D4Science could support their scientific needs. Representatives from D4Science and D4Science-II presented their perspectives for the future and for possible collaboration.
Donatella Castelli, ISTI-CNR, Italy