BlueBRIDGE CREATES AND DELIVERS TAILORED DATA MANAGEMENT SERVICES FOR FISHERIES, AQUACULTURE AND EDUCATION SECTORS THROUGH COLLABORATIVE WEB-BASED RESEARCH ENVIRONMENTS BUILT ON TOP OF A HYBRID-DATA INFRASTRUCTURE

The BlueBRIDGE services are operated through Virtual Research Environments (VREs).

What is a VRE?

Virtual Research Environments are web-based systems that can be accessed on-demand through a simple user interface. They provide users from different disciplines, institutions or even countries, with secure access to collaborative tools, services, data and computational facilities meeting their specific needs. The hardware setup and software deployment, required to operate these facilities is translated into easy and intuitive operations for the VRE creator. (More on VREs) The key distinguishing features of a VRE are: i) It is a web-based working environment; ii) It is tailored to serve the needs of a Community of Practice; iii) It is expected to provide a Community of Practice with the whole array of commodities needed to accomplish the community’s goal(s); iv) It is open and flexible with respect to the overall service offering and lifetime; v) It promotes fine-grained controlled sharing of both intermediate and final research results by guaranteeing ownership, provenance, and attribution.

The BlueBRIDGE VREs are built on the D4Science infrastructure. D4Science is a self-sustained hybrid data infrastructure executing around 60,000 models & algorithms per month and providing access to over a billion records hosted in more than 50 worldwide repositories. Currently, D4Science serves over 2,700 users from multiple scientific domains (e.g. fisheries, biodiversity, ocean observation, etc.). The added value of D4Science is that it is a framework in which infrastructure resources (e.g. data and services) made available by different data infrastructures can be dynamically packaged to serve the needs associated with particular scientific or societal questions. All of this is completely transparent for the user.

Why set up a VRE?

Users can set up a VRE in order to:

  • solve a data management issue that requires collaboration among different actors
  • improve their existing ICT services or technologies and offer a better service to their customers
  • develop a new service enhancing their portfolio.

The benefits

Here are some of the benefits that users can get from setting up a BlueBRIDGE VRE:

  • Easy access to a variety of datasets (single sign on; access to harmonised data)
  • On-demand access to data (no need to download data and harmonise data)
  • A unique environment where users can combine data and services and set up tailored applications. Users are also able to easily integrate their
  • own software/application (R, Java, Python, JavaScript are only a few examples) in the VRE if they need it
  • No need to worry about user management, security, accounting, monitoring and alerting (all the things that usually users have to do when
  • buying a VM on Amazon or on any other provider)
  • No need to worry about the set up of computational resources and about storage resources
  • Free consultancy from the BlueBRIDGE consortium

Each VRE delivered by BlueBRIDGE can be equipped with different types of resources: