The EGI Strategy for Horizon 2020


Luděk Matyska, chair of the EGI Council, writes about EGI's future as a secure, federated data-analysis infrastructure for the European Research Area. "An EGI strategy to tackle society’s grand challenges by providing a powerful, secure, efficient and scalable research infrastructure and associated support services for leading-edge data analytics." 


The European Research Area (ERA) needs to support multidisciplinary research collaborations that cross national and intellectual borders to tackle society’s grand challenges. To produce the excellent science that will deliver innovation and growth, Europe’s researchers need easy-to-use integrated services providing access to high-capacity and high-quality computing and storage resources, wherever the resources and the researcher are located.

This is what EGI aims to become.

In June 2011, EGI adopted a common strategy document ‘Seeking New Horizon – EGI’s Role in 2020’ to set the path for future evolution of the services to serve the changing needs of the ERA. The paper was updated by the EGI Council in September 2013, to reflect the latest evolution of the community and the inputs from a number of policy papers issued in the last two years.

The EGI Collaboration (through the EGI Council), composed of representatives from the National Grid Initiatives (NGIs) and supported research communities, is now proposing an ambitious investment in open distributed computing and data infrastructures that will build on the existing European and national investments to:

  • Provide enabling services to researchers by adopting an expandable and user-centric service portfolio to retain its current research communities and attract new ones.

  • Operate an unprecedented European capability for high-throughput data analysis that expands EGI’s current Federated Cloud infrastructure to 10 million computing cores and 1 Exabyte of storage by 2020. EGI will build on its current collaborative resource allocation model based on the resources coming from the NGIs and other organisations to also support peer-reviewed or pay-for-use access.

  • Provide flexible Virtual Research Environments that simplify access to EGI’s resources and make it easier for researchers to work and make the most of the NGI expertise to introduce technical innovations into production across Europe.

  • Identify and develop EGI’s Human Capital to upskill research communities by establishing national centres of excellence within the NGIs to promote knowledge transfer from the EGI community to tomorrow’s data scientists.

Collectively, these activities will stimulate technology and result in research innovations through effective use of high-throughput data analytics on a high-capacity and integrated European infrastructure by research communities in the ERA.

Impact for the researchers and research communities within the ERA

  • Excellent science through innovative services and their continuous improvement from both public sector or commercial providers;

  • Every researcher digital through the EGI distributed competence centres;

  • A scalable computational and storage research infrastructure through the integration and federation of resources from both public and private sectors.

Impact for the NGIs and other organisations participating in

  • A growing and developing a national e-Infrastructure through as a focal point for integration and collaboration at a European level;

  • NGI Virtual Centres of Excellence through maximising the collective knowledge and skills developed within the EGI collaboration.

Impact for the European Commission and European citizens