News archive - Successful completion of SEERA-EI project

The  SEERA-EI  project finished in  the end of March 2012 after 3 years of activity, successfully setting the framework for the adoption of a common eInfrastructures  vision  in  South  East  Europe  (SEE), and having carried out a number of concrete policy-level actions in the area of SEE and in relationship to  wider  European  eInfrastructure  trends.  The project  brought  together  key  policy-makers  in  eInfrastructures in South East Europe, and boosted coordination   between   national   eInfrastructure programmes and policies. The initiative was materialized  by  19  partners  from  10  countries  in  the region. Overall, SEERA-EI reduced fragmentation of national  programmes,  created  a  harmonised  approach  to  national-level  initiatives  in  eInfrastructures,  ensured  local  commitment,  and  paved  the way towards common regional vision, strategy and sustainable cooperation.

SEERA-EI  established  a  platform  for  information exchange on eInfrastructure issues that enhanced communication  among  national-level  programme managers  in  the  region.  Additionally,  digital  communication  tools,  active  beyond  the  project  life-time, form the basis for interactive communication and  content  management.  The  project  carried  out an in-depth analysis of existing programmes in the wider area of eInfrastructures at national level in SEE countries, as well as an analysis of the status of  main  components  of  eInfrastructure:  National Research  and  Education  Networks  and  National Grid/Computing    Initiatives.    Twenty    nine    programmes were surveyed and assessed, individually and  comparatively.  Regional  priority  areas  were defined  as:  the  stability  and  sustainability  of  network   operations,   specifically   dark   fibres;   the emerging   computing   paradigms   such   as   High- Performance   Computing   and   cloud   computing; transnational  access  and  regional  end-user  applications; and ESFRI integrations.
Two core documents supporting the national policy -making   process   and   programme   management were  produced.  The  first,  "National  Programmes Best  Practices"  provides  the  national  programme best   practices   for   eInfrastructures   regarding relevance,  quality,  and  performance  of  the  programmes. The second, "National Programme Cookbook"  is  a  base-level  guide  on  e-Infrastructure programmes  for  national  programme  owners  in the  SEE  region,  and  provides  fundamental  framework, with  strong  alignment with  the  corresponding    EC    Framework    Programme,    for    an eInfrastructure   programme.   SEERA-EI   produced guidelines  for  evaluation  of  national  programmes and  actual  post  evaluation  has  been  carried  out, and  the  joint  database  of  experts  in  the  field  of eInfrastructures is operational.  
A  number  of  joint  official  documents,  such  as  the joint  common  vision  and  regional  strategy  of  eInfrastructures  were  created  and  signed,  enabling future work beyond the project lifetime. The vision agreed  stated  that  by  2020,  South-East  European countries  will  in  all  aspects  be  an  equal  partner within European infrastructures, while a number of regional  infrastructures  (networking,  grid,  HPC, cloud  computing,  data  and  VRCs)  will  be  further strengthened.   The   sharing   of   those   resources between the countries of the region is  supported, as  well  as  concepts  of  joint  regional  operations and of a mutual open access policy for researchers  from  the  region  to  national  computing  infrastructures. Within SEERA-EI, three other Memoranda of  Understanding were signed: SEE MoU on Grid and  eInfrastructure  development;  MoU  for  High-Performance  Computing  resource  sharing  in  SEE; and  MoU  on  networking  collaboration  in  SEE.  Furthermore,  the  concept  of  formulating  a  joint  SEE Initiative led to two studies addressing the setting up  of  a  SEE-level  operations  body  for  SEELight network, or the possible regional grouping for High-Performance Computing.
 Six countries participating in the SEERA-EI project have committed to make national contributions into a  "Virtual  Common  Pot"  to  fund  successful  joint research projects: the joint call on Scientific Cloud Computing is being published in May. The expected impact  is  the increase  in  regional  know-how  in cloud computing and its potential applications, and paving  the  way  for  the  regional  cloud  computing open environment for research and education.
The  project  developed  liaisons  with  ESFRI,  e-IRG, EGI,  PRACE,  GEANT,  eINFRAnet,  EuroRIsNet,  and other  initiatives,  improving  the  sharing  of  know-how  in  terms  of  policies,  programmes  and  vision within the region and beyond, and enabled transfer of  knowledge  to  improve  the  regional  infrastructure and ease the digital divide.   
The excellent collaboration among the members of the project consortium, and the human network of the  region,  is  an  essential  element  of  the  project success that enables the SEE countries to reduce the fragmentation of the European Research Area.  
The    sustainable    cooperation    that    has    been achieved  goes  beyond  the  project  lifetime,  including  liaisons  with  the  industry:  it  strengthens  the region,  encourages  collaborative  eInfrastructure development and high-quality research, and it can serve as a potential platform for driving innovation using research policies, outcomes, schemes, models and technologies.

Source: SEERA-EI newsletter.

Geographical focus
  • SEE
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Engineering and Technology

Entry created by Elke Dall on May 30, 2012
Modified on May 31, 2012