Discussions on e-Infrastructure in Trondheim

Questions on e-Infrastructure were discussed on the conference “Nordic e-Infrastructure Collaboration: Lessons, Opportunities and Future Directions” 15-16 May 2013 in Trondheim. NeIC held the conference in cooperation with CSC - IT Center for Science, DeIC, NORDUnet, Norwegian University of Science & Technology, RHnet, Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing and UNINETT Sigma. 160 researchers, policy makers and R&D industry representatives participated.

The conference was preceded by two days of workshops, focusing on Data services, Center Operations Best Practices, Security, Science Gateways and Infrastructure as a Service for the Life Sciences. This was a great way to kick off, feeding the participants with ideas and questions to be approached with a broader perspective at the conference.

Mr. Pål Sørgaard, Deputy Director General in the Research Department of the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, opened the conference. One of his messages was that e-Infrastructure will both deliver excellent publications to the benefit of the broader society, and also shape the habits of future generations equipping them to contribute to the future knowledge society. NeIC Director Gudmund Høst presented NeIC’s vision for Nordic e-Infrastructure Collaboration as well as the recently signed Memorandum of Understanding – a long-term agreement on collaboration between the Nordic Countries.

Important issues were debated lively – especially the digital humanities’ emerging needs were interesting to researchers within all fields of science. How do we ensure coordination on the National, the European and the Global level without unnecessary bureaucracy? One simple and provocative answer to this came from Erik Lindahl, KTH/SciLifeLab, who said that if you aren’t able to make any decisions at the end of day, you should reconsider if the coordination contributes to anything at all. Dr. Pentti Pulkkinen, Director of the Management Support Unit at Academy of Finland and the Chair of the NeIC, gave the closing remarks and highlighted among other things the importance of people and networks in the work of e-infrastructure collaboration.

The conference was kindly hosted by UNINETT Sigma and NTNU.

The Nordic e-Infrastructure Collaboration (NeIC) is an organisational unit under NordForsk in Oslo.