Research communities, globally and in all sectors, are facing a flood of data unlike anything up to this point. And the data will keep flowing at an ever-increasing rate.

This "Big Data" explosion creates new possibilities to share knowledge and carry out research. Through analysis of these massive data sets, we can begin to see macro-trends in all aspects of life, which can translate to the informed development of beneficial public policy. However, these new possibilities have not yet been fully exploited because almost all the datasets, models, papers, and statistics produced are usually available exclusively within the community that has generated them. The reason for this way of working is evident: exposing data products to other domains or actors (such as public and private organisations) requires additional effort and investments that don’t always bring an immediate return of investment for the community itself.

This limited, short-term vision and modus operandi is quite common among research infrastructures, as they are usually focused on a specific research domain; unfortunately, the current availability of e-Infrastructures and collaborative tools (including social networks) has not yet significantly broken this silos approach.

The recent Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, and the European Economic and Social Committee of the regions on the European Cloud Initiative Building a competitive data and knowledge economy in Europe - calls for the establishment of a European Open Science Cloud that “makes it possible to move, share and re-use data seamlessly across global markets and borders, and among institutions and research disciplines”.

BlueBRIDGE moves in this direction.

Recognizing that, today, important societal challenges raise questions that are not confined to a specific sector but span across science and society, BlueBRIDGE provides answers and concrete tools to tackle the issue of the silos approach. The on-demand BlueBRIDGE Virtual Research Environments (VREs) provide researchers belonging to different domains (such as earth science, marine sector and biology) with an efficient virtual environment where they can collaborate, share, and re-use the research outputs, creating a bridge facilitating the cross-fertilization of results among different disciplines.

VREs also provide these actors with innovative facilities for mining, analysing, and processing massive amount of data.