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The e-IRG mission is to pave the way towards a general-purpose European e-Infrastructure. The vision for the future is an open e-infrastructure enabling flexible cooperation and optimal use of all electronically available resources. The European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) is has a new edition of its roadmap, presenting pan-European research infrastructures, which corresponds to the long-term needs of European research communities. ESFRI roadmap installations have to show their e-needs and their ability to meet the idea of an e-Infrastructure Commons described in the e-IRG publications.


Being a leading advisory body in the field of e-science and e-infrastructures, the e-Infrastructure Reflection Group (e-IRG) follows the idea of an e-Infrastructure Commons as a technological and administrative framework for an easy and cost-effective shared use of distributed electronic resources across Europe. An essential feature of the Commons is the provisioning of a well-defined, interoperable and sustained set of services, provisioned by several European e-Infrastructure providers to fulfill specific needs of European research communities, projects and research infrastructures. The e-Infrastructure Reflection Group Support Programme 4 (e-IRGSP4) is an FP7 funded project, which is based on the mission, vision and operation of the e-IRG. The key activities of e-IRGSP4 are to provide operational support to e-IRG. E-IRGSP4 aims at strengthening the relations between e-IRG and ESRI. The L3S Research Center is the coordinator of the project. It also leads the work package related to the liaison activities and it is involved in policy support actions and in secretariat and dissemination activities.


Challenges & Highlights

To further the realization of its vision of an e-Infrastructure Commons as a foundation for large-scale European research infrastructures, e-IRG is currently producing high-level policy documents to encourage a practical implementation of the Commons. These recommendations target the different research infrastructures but also the European Commission to give advice for the upcoming developments and funding programs. In 2014, the focus of e-IRG was on the implementation of the e-Infrastructure Commons and on strengthening its collaboration with ESFRI. Most relevant topics for this collaboration are data infrastructures and the relying issues. Although “Big Data” has already been a hot topic for some years, decision makers need information and guidance on how to design policies to react on this arising challenge in the long-term perspective. Data Management is recognized as a very crucial problem due to the enormous growth of data and the lack of common infrastructures for long-term data archiving. Furthermore, the curation of data is the most important challenge that has to be solved in the near-term. Besides the policy documents, e-IRG produces task force reports on contemporary issues and takes a position on current high-level expert group reports like the GÉANT expert group or communications of the European commission. Furthermore, e-IRG was involved in shaping the Horizon 2020 program.


Potential Applications & Future Issues

The paradigm shift in science towards data driven research sees e-Infrastructures as horizontal layer in all research infrastructures. E-IRG’s recommendations focus on the coordination and collaboration among e-Infrastructures and their integration in these future research infrastructures to enable a sustainable and efficient use of resources.


Jan Wiebelitz

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gabriele von Voigt
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gabriele von Voigt

Project type:
EU/IST FP7 INFRA-2010-3.3 Support Actions
Project duration:
Dec 2012 - Jun 2014
Project research areas:


Project manager:
Jan Wiebelitz