e-Infrastructures address the needs of European researchers for digital services in terms of networking, computing and data management by fostering the emergence of Open Science.
In the context of the European open science agenda, there is a need to capitalise on past e-infrastructure investments and develop an e-infrastructure commons. To be able to achieve this, there is a number of obstacles that need to address the issue of:
- service accessibility, interoperability and fragmentation, comprehensibility and clarity + inconsistent use of key performance indicators (KPIs) for assessing added value.
The actions taken by the eInfraCentral project to address these obstacles are by:
- Structure an open and guided discussion between e-infrastructures to consensually define a common catalogue for their services.
- Develop a single entry point (one-stop shop) - the eInfraCentral portal - for end users to browse the service catalogue, and enhance the monitoring of key performance indicators (KPIs) that focus on availability and quality of services and user satisfaction.
- Draw policy and sustainability lessons for the future development of a European e-infrastructure ‘market place’ as an extension of the common service catalogue and portal so that it includes a much broader range of e-infrastructures and services.
These actions will help to fulfil the mission which is to:
- Ensure that, by 2020, a broader and more varied set of users (including industry/SMEs) discover and accesses the existing and developing e-infrastructure capacity.
- Develop a common approach to defining and monitoring e-infrastructures services which will increase the uptake of and enhance understanding of where improvements can be made in delivering e-infrastructure services.
This will be achieved through some key eInfraCentral project activities:
- A co-design process that will involve funders (the European Commission, etc.), the (e-)research infrastructure community and a representative user group. This virtual ecosystem will be engaged in a consultation process through interviews, surveys and workshop and partnering events. The consultation findings will feed into a revised categorisation and related KPIs for e-infrastructures services.
- On-going user interaction that will guide the design and development of the eInfraCentral portal. The portal will be developed in two phases that will become the main entry point to European e-infrastructures services:
- fast prototyping with a first set of services deployed; and
- a full release of a complete web portal, dashboard and collaborative e-tools.
- Service catalogue alignment will be facilitated by drawing on experience of developing FitSM (Standards for lightweight IT service management) standards to develop a standardised service portfolio definition.