From Water Forecasts to Agriculture: EOSC Use Cases
EOSC aims to become Europe’s trusted virtual environment for 1.7 million European researchers and 70 million professionals in science, technology, the humanities and social sciences to store, manage, analyze and re-use data for research, innovation and educational purposes, as well as to support EU science in its global leading role. EOSC will allow researchers across various countries and scientific disciplines to work together in solving today’s biggest societal issues.
Even though the full launch of EOSC will only take place next year, there are already dozens of projects benefiting from the initiative. Seven of them were presented at the EOSC Symposium in Budapest, Hungary.
The OPENCoasts project, presented by Alberto Azevedo, oceanographer at the National Laboratory for Civil Engineering in Lisbon, Portugal, is a service that builds on-demand circulation forecast systems for different users. It generates forecasts of water levels, 2D velocities and wave parameters for periods of 72 hours. The system is useful in anticipating natural disasters and accidents in the coast, for example floods and chemical spills and can help in search and rescue operations.
OPENCoasts is integrated with EOSC services, and it was the EOSC-Hub that provided the resources and tools that were necessary to expand the service, which can be used all over the world.
Serena Battaglia, Capacity Program Manager at the European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ECRIN) talked about the huge challenge related to clinical research: studies and data objects are often scattered around, and it is very difficult to find relevant data. Therefore, they are working on a metadata repository that allows the identification of clinical research studies as well as the display of data objects. They have already developed a pilot repository, and the user interface is under development now.
As she said, the larger hardware resources of EOSC facilitate the extension of the project and it will also allow other service providers to join.
Maria Eskevich from CLARIN-ERIC, a consortium of national service providers dedicated to Social Sciences and Humanities, talked about their vision, which says that all digital language resources and tools should be available. It comes with many challenges, though: languages are social and cultural data, but they are complex to interpret and require specific analysis softwares and processing tools.
The CLARIN Metadata Infrastructure offers several services through EOSC-hub and the EOSC Marketplace:
- The Virtual Language Observatory, a facet browser for fast navigation and searching in huge amounts of metadata;
- The Virtual Collection Registry, a service that allows researchers to create their own citable digital bookmarks;
- The Language Resource Switchboard, a web application that suggests language analysis tools for specific data sets.
As Maria Eskevich emphasized, they are connected, the metadata is searchable, and the application even suggests tools for analysis. As she said, more data mean more connections and more services, but they also pay attention to having a user-friendly interface.
Open science can help agricultural and food sciences as well, as it was presented by Enol Fernández, Cloud Technologist at EGI Foundation, who talked about AGINFRA+, a 3-year project that aims to exploit core e-infrastructures to provide a sustainable channel addressing adjacent but not fully connected user communities around Agriculture and Food. To this end, the project will develop and provide the necessary specifications and components for allowing the rapid and intuitive development of variegating data analysis workflows, where the functionalities for data storage and indexing, algorithm execution, results visualization and deployment are provided by specialized services utilizing cloud-based infrastructures.
As he said, EOSC helps them to access more data and its cloud storage, which can lead to more meaningful research activities and to developing a fair, transparent and reasonable business model.
Regina Kwee from the Deutsches Klimarechenzentrum (DKRZ) introduced the ENES Climate Analytics Service (ECAS), that enables scientific end-users to perform data analysis experiments on large volumes of research data from multiple disciplines. Users can define parallel processing workflows, executed remotely without needing to download data or provide own computing resources as these are provided by ECAS.
Furthermore, users can explore workflows others have created and shared, and apply these to their own data. ECAS enables users to write a workflow once and apply it to diverse data without having to customize it again. For ECAS, EOSC will introduce new market opportunities, across different sectors, in the climate services context.
Providing data about the climate is in the focus of the Copernicus Climate Change Service as well, which was presented by Joan Sala Calero, Data Scientist at Barcelona Supercomputing Center. Copernicus supports society by providing authoritative information about the past, present and future climate in the entire world. Its objective is to apply FAIR principles to metadata as well as quality control on all the data provided to users.
As he said, the EOSC-Hub offers them a scalable computing infrastructure, and it will also enable researchers to easily access their services.
Finally, Lennert Schepers from the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) talked about the Blue-Cloud, a project that implements a practical approach to address the potential of cloud based open science to achieve a set of services to build and demonstrate the Pilot Blue Cloud as a thematic EOSC cloud to support ocean research through a set of five pilot Blue-Cloud demonstrators.
The data needed for the project is not easily accessible, so the support offered by EOSC is vital. With bringing together data from other fields, it also enables multidisciplinarity. Furthermore, since the whole procedure from the data to the final product is traceable, it increases the trust in the research as well.
You will find more details about the session, and the files of each presentation, at this link.