On the 11 and 12 of November 2015, Pasquale Pagano, CNR & BlueBRIDGE Technical Director, together with Gianpaolo Coro, CNR researcher, contributed to the EGI Community Forum 2015 with two presentations: a tutorial on Hybrid Data Infrastructures, presenting the D4Science case study (D4Science is the BlueBRIDGE underlying infrastructure), and a presentation on how BlueBRIDGE is realizing the Open Science modus operandi in the context of Blue Growth Societal Challenge.

Tutorial on Hybrid Data Infrastructures: D4Science as a case study.

Presentation is available here.

"An e-Infrastructure is a distributed network of service nodes, residing on multiple sites and managed by one or more organizations allowing scientists residing at distant places to collaborate. They may offer a multiplicity of facilities as-a-service, supporting data sharing and usage at different levels of abstraction. E-Infrastructures can have different implementations (Andronico et al 2011). A major distinction is between (i) Data e-Infrastructures, i.e. digital infrastructures promoting data sharing and consumption to a community of practice (e.g. MyOcean, Blanc 2008) and (ii) Computational e-Infrastructures, which support the processes required by a community of practice using GRID and Cloud computing facilities (e.g. Candela et al. 2013). A more recent type of e-Infrastructure is the Hybrid Data Infrastructure (HDI) (Candela et al. 2010), i.e. a Data and Computational e-Infrastructure that adopts a delivery model for data management, in which computing, storage, data and software are made available as-a-Service. HDIs support, for example, data transfer, data harmonization and data processing workflows. Hybrid Data e-Infrastructures have already been used in several European and international projects (e.g. i-Marine 2011; EuBrazil OpenBio 2011) and their exploitation is growing fast supporting new projects and initiatives, e.g. Parthenos, Ariadne, Descramble.
A particular HDI, named D4Science (Candela et al. 2009), has been used by communities of practice in the fields of biodiversity conservation, geothermal energy monitoring, fisheries management, and culture heritage. This e-Infrastructure hosts models and resources by several international organizations involved in these fields. Its capabilities help scientists to access and manage data, reuse data and models, obtain results in short time and share these results with other colleagues."

The tutorial gave an overview of the D4Science capabilities; in particular, it showcased practices and methods that large international organizations like FAO and UNESCO apply by means of D4Science. At the same time, it explained how the D4Science facilities conform to the concepts of e-Infrastructures, Virtual Research Environments (VREs), data sharing and experiments reproducibility. The tutorial also gave insight about how D4Science contributors can add new models and algorithms to the processing platform. More on the tutorial here.


Maximising uptake by opening access to research: The BlueBRIDGE endeavor

Presentation is available here.

Open Science is emerging as a force that by democratizing access to research and its products will produce advantages for the society, economy and the research system, e.g. "more reliable" and efficient science, faster and wider innovation, societal challenges-driven science. BlueBRIDGE is a European funded project realizing the Open Science modus operandi in the context of Blue Growth Societal Challenge. The overall objective of this project, starting from September ’15 and running over a 30 months timeline, is to support  capacity building in interdisciplinary research communities. These communities are principally involved in increasing scientific knowledge on marine resource overexploitation, degraded environment and ecosystem. Their aim is to provide advices to competent authorities and to enlarge the spectrum of economic growth opportunities.
BlueBRIDGE will implement and operate a set of Virtual Research Environments (VREs) facilitating communities of scientists from different domains (e.g. fisheries, biology, economics, statistics, environment, mathematics, social sciences, natural sciences, computer science) to collaborate in their knowledge production chain, from the initial phases, data collection and aggregation, to the production of indicators. These communities involve EU and International world-renowned leading institutions (e.g. ICES, IRD, FAO, UNEP) that provide informed advice on sustainable use of marine resources to their member countries. Furthermore, the communities also include relevant Commissions of international organizations, national academic institutions and small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
VREs are innovative, web-based, community-oriented, comprehensive, flexible, and secure working environments conceived to serve the needs of science [2]. They are expected to act like "facilitators" and "enablers" of research activities conducted according to open science patterns. They play the role of "facilitators" by providing seamless access to the evolving wealth of resources (datasets, services, computing) - usually spread across many providers including e-Infrastructures - needed to conduct a research activity. They play the role of "enablers", by providing scientists with state-of-the-art facilities supporting open science practices: sharing, publishing, and reproducing comprehensive research activities; giving access to research products while scientists are working with them; automatically generating provenance; capturing accounting; managing quota; supporting new forms of transparent peer-reviews and collaborations by social networking. The development of such environments should be effective and sustainable to actually embrace and support research community efforts.
In this presentation, we described the set of VREs that will be developed and operated to serve four main scenarios of BlueBRIDGE: (i) Blue assessment; supporting the collaborative production of scientific knowledge required for assessing the status of fish stocks and producing a global record of stocks and fisheries, (ii) Blue economy; supporting the production of scientific knowledge for analysing socio-economic performance in aquaculture, (iii) Blue environment; supporting the production of scientific knowledge for fisheries & habitat degradation monitoring, and (iv) Blue skills; boosting education and knowledge bridging between research and innovation, in the area of protection and management of marine resources. BlueBRIDGE builds on the D4Science infrastructure and the gCube technology to operate the VREs by aggregating the needed data, software and services.