Did you know that Europe is the largest producer of scientific data in the world?
Unfortunately insufficient and fragmented infrastructure results in major data losses and this “big data” is not being exploited to its full potential to generate new knowledge and fuel innovation. To address this challenge and to give Europe a global lead in the data-driven economy, improve competitiveness and cohesion, the European Commission put forward in April 2016 its European Cloud Initiative.
The European Cloud Initiative, entailing plans for a European Open Science Cloud and an underpinning European Data Infrastructure (EDI), represents a vision to ultimately strengthen EU’s competitiveness in digital technologies and in innovation and to enable users and society at large to reap the benefits of datadriven science.
The European Data Infrastructure (EDI), once fully implemented, will underpin the European Open Science Cloud deploying the high-bandwidth networks and the supercomputing capacity necessary to effectively access and process large datasets stored in the cloud. This infrastructure will allow fully unlocking the value of Big Data and digital by default.
Undoubtedly, within this framework, EUDAT – a pan-European data infrastructure featuring a cross-disciplinary suite of research data management services designed in close collaboration with end users from different scientific fields - can make a concrete contribution.
The European Data Infrastructure won't be constructed from scratch as Europe already has considerable e-infrastructures for researchers including a number of sector-specific ones. The question will then be how to best federate existing e-infrastructures to ensure that researchers can seamlessly access them as a single service catalogue. Thanks to these e-infrastructures, research institutes across Europe use highspeed networks, take advantage of distributed computing, use high-performance supercomputers, enjoy open-access publications repositories and catalogues, but also, as in the case of EUDAT, take advantage of data storage and other research data management services.