Information in the European Research Infrastructure

Added by Michael Jubb on 12 January 2007 12:06

Following the publication late last year of the roadmap produced by the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructure (ESFRI), it is interesting to see the work programme for 2007 (not easy to find on the CORDIS website, but available as a PDF through this link).

What’s particularly interesting is the way in which both documents see information services and “knowledge-based resources such as collections, archives or structured scientific information” as an essential part of the research infrastructure; and how significant amounts of resources are now going to be put into developments such as repositories. And the workplan talks, under the heading of e-infrastructure, about how this activity will open the path to the deployment of a scientific data infrastructure resulting from the coordination, at pan-European level, of data storage, archiving, access, management andcuration activities.

So there are calls for projects to be submitted in May 2007 to foster a “co-ordinated approach to the deployment of digital repositories… data storage, archiving, access, interpretation, interoperability, management and curation activities”; and for preparatory work relating to projects identified in the ESFRI roadmap (including, for example, European Social Science Data Archives, digital research infrastructures for the arts and humanities, and upgrading of the European Bioinformatics Institute); and the promise of calls in 2008 to support the deployment of a broad European multidisciplinary scientific data infrastructure.

At the same time, the Commission has issued the work progamme for ICT (again difficult to find, but available as a PDF via this link), which identifies digital libraries and content as one of seven key challenges, with calls for proposals to be submitted in May for projects aimed towards the development of large-scale European digital libraries, radical new approaches to digital preservation, and the development of new forms of - and new systems to generate - complex and interactive content.

It will be interesting to see what kinds of proposals are put together in response to these calls, and what progress can be made towards the ambitious kinds of goals that are set out in the two workplans.

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