DI4R2018 got underway this morning in Lisbon, marking the third edition of the annual Digital Infrastructures for Research (DI4R) conference jointly organised by EOSC-hub, GÉANT, OpenAIRE and PRACE.

The plenary featured a welcome from Professor Manuel Heitor, Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education; and introductions from each of the organisers, followed by two keynote speakers:

  • Jose Manuel Gutierrez of the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) spoke about the current data-centric challenges facing the climate prediction community. He summarised by saying that climate prediction experiments are getting more and more complex and computationally demanding. The volume of freely available data will soon reach 100 petabytes. He stressed the need for near-data processing infrastructure to maximise data exploitation – download and analyse is no longer an option.
  • Dalia A. Conde of Species 360 spoke about mapping species knowledge, explaining the value of data and digital infrastructure to address the extinction crisis. We are currently facing an extinction rate 100 times the background or ‘normal’ rate. Dalia spoke passionately about collecting data in the field (or jungle!), curating and classifying it, bringing together databases to map knowledge and highlight patterns – to drive decision making. As Dalia summed up, the good news is this crisis is created by mankind – which means we are in a position to solve it!

These keynotes expressed very well the societal value of the diverse research projects supported by Europe’s e-infrastructures, their data and computing challenges – and the opportunity the DI4R conference offers for the organisers to better understand user requirements and support in the most integrated way.

GÉANT CEO Erik Huizer summed this up in his introduction: “GÉANT believes that collaboration amongst all the e-infrastructures is vital to the success of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and the European Data Infrastructure (EDI).”

The conference runs from 9-11 October. For more information see www.digitalinfrastructures.eu