EuroRIs-Net Success Stories Booklet

Page 1


Š 2013 EURORIS-NET+ All rights reserved Reproduction only with written consent by the coordinator

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:

The booklet that you are holding in your hand includes 15 success stories on research infrastructures projects collected by the National Contact Points during the timeframe of the EuroRIs-Net project and its successor EuroRIs-Net+ project. EuroRIs-Net, the network of National Contact Points for the Research Infrastructures programme, is an EU-funded support action aiming to facilitate transnational cooperation of NCPs, to promote the effective implementation of the RI programme, to highlight opportunities offered by Research Infrastructures and e-infrastructures - at the European and international level - and their impact on e-science. Following the definition of the European Commission, Research infrastructures (including e-infrastructures) are facilities, resources and services that are used by the research communities to conduct research and foster innovation in their fields. It covers major scientific equipment (or sets of instruments); knowledge-based resources such as collections, archives or scientific data; e-infrastructures, such as data and computing systems and communication networks; and any other infrastructure of a unique nature essential to achieve excellence in research and innovation. This is a very wide concept, not always easily understood by the scientific communities, especially the newcomers in the field. The success stories included in this booklet were produced with the aim to help the reader to understand what a research infrastructure is by giving concrete examples and to gain insight in all the funding possibilities offered by the Research infrastructures thematic of the 7th Framework Programme. Reading the success stories also shows the large scope of the RI work programme and can help researchers to better formulate their own ideas for a future project. All the activities included in the work programme are covered by the success stories. INCREASE, EU-ARTECH and EAST-NMR are good examples of projects funded under the I続 (integrated activities) action of the RI WP. LAGUNA is a project funded under the Design study activity, aimed to design a new pan-European infrastructure for large apparatus studying grand unification and neutrino astrophysics. GLOBAL illustrates the potential of an einfrastructure project can support global research collaboration by connecting scientists from all over the world for a conference via virtual auditorium. BBMRI and INSTRUCT and SHARE are examples of projects funded under preparatory phase activity aimed at supporting research infrastructures from the ESFRI Roadmap to attain the level of maturity (financial, legal and technical) required to start the implementation (construction) of the RI. Research infrastructures NCPs play a crucial role in the implementation of the work programme by providing information and assistance to potential participants informing and raising awareness in the scientific community about the specificity of the RI work programme and the funding possibilities promoting the transnational access possibilities offered by the RIs providing assistance to potential applicants in the preparation of their proposal

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:



The European Theoretical Spectroscopy Facility opens new doors to numeric simulations ........................ 3 Increasingly Understanding Climate Change ................................................................................................ 6 UCLP - A Software which changes the management and control of optical networks ................................. 8 REDUCING BARRIER FOR ACCESS TO EUROPEAN CULTURAL HERITAGE: Eu-ARTECH - Access Research and Technology for the conservation of the European Cultural Heritage .......................................................... 10 SHARE - Facing the Challenges of Ageing in Europe ................................................................................ 13 BBMRI - The Power of Many ..................................................................................................................... 16 GLOBAL – Making the World a Smaller Place .......................................................................................... 18 European Social Survey (ESS) – Monitoring Social Change in Europe ..................................................... 20 Development of pan-European Extreme Light Infrastructure ..................................................................... 22 LAGUNA – basic science hand in hand with engineering .......................................................................... 25 Euro-BioImaging: European Research Infrastructure for Imaging Technologies in Biological and Biomedical Sciences .................................................................................................................................... 27 EAST-NMR – Enhancing Access and Services to East European users. .................................................... 30 Instruct - Integrated structural biology unlocking the secrets of life ........................................................... 32 SCI-BUS: The Scientific gateway Based User Support .............................................................................. 35 SHIWA –SHaring Interoperable Workflows for large-scale scientific simulations on Available DCIs ..... 38

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 1/ October 2008

The European Theoretical Spectroscopy Facility opens new doors to numeric simulations At the core of the central node This first success story has been written in collaboration with Xavier Gonze, Gian-Marco Rignanese and JeanChristophe Charlier, three Professors of the “Université catholique de Louvain” in Belgium, where the central core node of a distributed e-research infrastructure has recently been created. They tell us the story of a new type of research infrastructure: an infrastructure spreading across 10 European research institutions and involving more than 120 scientists; an infrastructure connecting experimentalists and theoreticians alike; an infrastructure selected within the Research Infrastructure Activity of the Seventh Framework Programme.

A network of excellence creates an electronic distributed research infrastructure The story began about 20 years ago by an incipient collaboration between European researchers in the field of Condensed Matter Theory : Rodolfo Del Sole in Italy, Lucia Reining in France, Rex Godby in the UK, Angel Rubio in Spain and the others, increased and extended their collaboration through European training network projects such as “Nanophase” of the Fifth Framework Programme and “Nanoquanta Network of Excellence” of the Sixth Framework Programme. From its very beginning, in 2004, the Nanoquanta project UCL Picture, seen left to right: Xavier Gonze, Gian-Marco aimed at a long-term, sustainable outcome. Two options were Rignanese and Jean-Christophe Charlier considered: (1) the introduction of a European Master and (2) the realisation of a virtual research infrastructure. After the first year of the project, the second option was selected. Nanoquanta‟s “final product” is a facility bringing to its users - experimentalists or industry researchers - frontier-ofknowledge spectroscopy simulation tools. This facility, called European Theoretical Spectroscopy Facility (ETSF), is fully operational since March 2008. It consists of 10 core nodes, the central one being based in Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium. The ETSF has been structured in a similar manner to a synchrotron (i.e. ESRF, Soleil, etc) with beamlines. Each beamline covers a field of application of theoretical spectroscopy such as optics, quantum transport, time-resolved and photo-emission spectroscopies. “The concept of beamline was familiar to Lucia Reining because her husband, an experimental physicist, used to work in big experimental research infrastructures” tells us Xavier Gonze.

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 1/ October 2008 Two ETSF calls for proposals have already been launched and an Executive Director plus a Project Manager will soon be recruited. In order to continue the development of the infrastructure and answer to users demands on a European scale, funding beyond the Nanoquanta project was necessary.

The submission of an e-research infrastructure proposal Two people were working full-time on the administrative management of the Nanoquanta network: Tony Patman in the UK and Gaëlle Bruant in France. They were actively looking for opportunities in the Seventh Framework Programme and they proposed to submit a proposal under the Research Infrastructure Activity of the Seventh Framework Programme. A meeting was organized between a delegation of Nanoquanta and European Commission representatives. Their reaction was really positive and it was thus decided to submit an e-RI proposal under the action line 1.2.2 eInfrastructure for scientific communities published on December 22, 2006. Rex Godby in York coordinated the submission which was prepared jointly thanks to modern communication tools. In particular “Google doc”, a free web-based word processor and spreadsheet was used to work together online on a unique document and to vote via a spreadsheet system. In addition Skype was used for audio-conferences.

A research infrastructure at the service of its users The selection of the proposal “European Theoretical Spectroscopy Facility I3” will allow the ETSF members to further develop software and to answer a maximum number of user‟s proposals. About 40 proposals were received in the last ETSF call. A dozen of them have been selected for direct support, and a similar number for trainings. Xavier Gonze explains that in the first case, the numerical simulations are done for the users. For example, they had the request from a mineralogist, who asked under which pressure a specific mineral would change from insulator to conductor. Since the mineralogist is lacking the expertise to use the advanced ETSF software applications, a scientist from ETSF will use the software and will make the necessary calculations. In the second case, the goal is to help those interested to use CORRECTLY the developed software. It is extremely important, adds Jean-Christophe Charlier that users do not use software as a black box, but that they really learn how it works.

And for the future… The ETSF members would like to continue to improve the services of the research infrastructure, to reach wider scientific communities and to establish ETSF as an independent legal entity.

Additional information ETSF website: Nanoquanta website:

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 1/ October 2008 Physical Chemistry and Physics of Materials Laboratory of UCL: Prof. Xavier Gonze: Prof. Gian-Marco Rignanese : Prof. Jean-Christophe Charlier :

By VĂŠronique de Halleux, Scientific and Technical Information Service (STIS/BELSPO)

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 2/ November 2008

Increasingly Understanding Climate Change In an office a little to the north of Copenhagen, Denmark, a Danish senior scientist is in charge of a four year I3 project, INCREASE, which includes 8 partners from 5 different countries and combines knowledge pools created in 6 large‐scale field site infrastructures. INCREASE provides research communities of the European Research Area with unique opportunities to develop excellent research on climate change effects on terrestrial shrublands. The project has recently been selected for EU funding via the Research Infrastructures theme under the Seventh Framework Programme.

Networks that work Partners in the INCREASE project have bases throughout Europe. Representing organisations in Hungary, Italy, Wales, the Netherlands and Denmark almost all partners knew each other very well from collaboration in previous projects. Inger Kappel Schmidt recalls how the process of putting together the final proposal was nonetheless carried out during a hectic last month leading up to the 5 o‟clock Brussels deadline. The proposal drafting process was made easier to handle for the coordinator by the grant of a Danish support initiative, START, which co-finances key activity expenses in the initial phases of the proposal writing process for international sources of financing. This process was further buttressed by a thorough study of the call text and the specific guidelines for applicants – according to Kappel Schmidt an essential effort towards understanding the formal requirements and the underlying ideas of the FP7-Research Infrastructures programme. The campus EU-office, a support unit at the University of Copenhagen, was very helpful for the coordinator in the later stage of the writing process, and especially in connection with more technical aspects, e.g. the organisation of Transnational Access for external users, the FP7National Contact Point at the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation was an encouraging and recommendable source of support. INCREASE is an integrated infrastructure initiative, also called “I3” in Brussels Speak and as such it combines networking activities, trans-national access/service activities and joint research activities. The project is thus organised as a network of six research infrastructures consisting of large scale field experiments for studies of climate effects on shrubland ecosystems in Europe. The participating infrastructures offer unique facilities for European scientists to study longer term effects of climate change on shrubland ecosystems. The project improves the state-of-the-art of a “non-intrusive technology” for climate manipulations and non-destructive sampling methodologies and paves the way for further analysis and synthesis of long data records obtained from the same infrastructures during two previously EU-funded projects: CLIMOOR (1998-2000) and VULCAN (2000-2004). Both of these projects had participation by the same core base of partners taking part in INCREASE. The idea of incorporating the six infrastructures into an Integrated Infrastructure Initiative was introduced in order to provide a wider and more efficient access to these unique infrastructures.

Gentle and Effective The technology used in INCREASE is the recently developed and tested so-called non-intrusive approach. Global warming is caused by a reduction in the loss of long wave IR-radiation from the earth back into the atmosphere The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 2/ November 2008 because of the green house gas accumulation in the atmosphere. So far, the temperature increase observed has been caused by increased minimum temperatures at night rather than a general temperature increase. Inger Kappel Schmidt, the Danish Coordinator of the project explains: “The new method mimics the global warming by covering the ecosystem at night by IRreflective material – i.e. passive night time warming. Night-time warming mimics global change and has Picture: The Mols Infrastructure, Denmark been applied recently to shrubland ecosystems throughout Europe with an effect of warming the soil and plants by up to 2ºC. Automated transparent covers activated by rainfall sensors are used to extend drought periods during the summer. These climatic manipulations create realistic changes in climatic conditions similar to the predictions of change in climate models”. The non-intrusive character of the experimental design and the extended use of non-destructive sampling methods within the infrastructures have prevented the infrastructures from being destroyed. Beside the long term stability and the realistic manipulations of climate made possible by the new methodology, the locations of the infrastructures along natural gradients in temperature and precipitation in Europe provide an extra dimension, from the cold heath vegetation in Denmark to the warmer garigue in Italy and from the dry land of Hungary to the wetlands of Wales.

Securing and improving state-of-the-art climate research Project Coordinator Inger Kappel Schmidt is excited about the potential of the project: “The project creates an excellent framework for internal as well as external users of these infrastructures. Facilities of high standard, an exciting research environment and access to background data and synthesis offer scientists from many different disciplines unique opportunities to develop state-of-the-art Climate Research Activities”. In particular, young researchers - but also researchers from new member states where similar infrastructures are sparse - are expected to benefit from the infrastructures and the supervision in the project. Examples of the focus of potential research user teams are the activity of soil enzymes and the physiology of plants. Having the project selected for EU-funding is a success story in and of itself, but the real work has only just begun. Improving the accumulated understanding of climate changes and its consequences is the serious challenge. The challenge has been accepted. The project will begin 1 March 2009. The project has not yet a web site but for additional and background information, visit: or the web site of project coordinator Inger Kappel Schmidt at:

By Hans Henrik Lomholt, Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation, 2008

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 3/ February 2009

UCLP - A Software which changes the management and control of optical networks User Controlled LightPaths (UCLP) technology fundamentally changes the management and control of optical networks. Not only does it empower users to create and manage their own Virtual Private Network (VPN), but it allows applications to support on-demand dynamic provisioning of end-to-end LightPaths or a collection of end-toend LightPaths (i.e. VPNs or the so-called Articulated Private Networks). Previous approaches required a network operator to co-ordinate this kind of activity. The resulting network can transfer large amounts of data, support realtime multimedia exchanges, and enable globally distributed broadband computing. Users of these networks are freed to analyze the data they are collecting rather than having to worry about how to get the data in the first place. UCLP technology is an open source software which enables network users to deploy and manage private, ultra high bandwidth IP networks. Users can create their own discipline or application-specific IP network, particularly useful in support of high-end e-science and grid applications. UCLP was developed by the Communications Research Centre Canada (CRC) in partnership with CANARIE Inc. Canada‟s advanced optical Internet research and education network – CAnet4, Inocybe Technologies Inc. and i2CAT Foundation in Spain.

How It Started CRC has been involved in the development of the UCLP software since it was first conceived in 2002, under CANARIE‟s Directed Research Program on UCLP. The University of Ottawa was the lead contractor and partner in the initial development of UCLP software. CRC, Inocybe Technologies Inc. and i2CAT Foundation continued with ongoing development. This resulted in UCLPv2, which evolved into Argia, the commercial version of the software. Much of the research done at CRC on UCLP is headed by Michel Savoie, Research Program Manager for the Michel Savoie, demonstrating UCLP Broadband Applications and Optical Network group. The research performed by the group is tested and applied in the Broadband Applications and Demonstration Laboratory (BADLAB). Integrated communications systems comprising fibre-optics, satcom and radio are developed in this facility, which allows the demonstration and testing of new broadband applications and services through a variety of telecommunications networks across Canada and the world.

Enabling More Efficient Use of Advanced Broadband Networks

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 3/ February 2009 This project has enabled CRC to establish stronger ties with EU partners, and carry out research with i2CAT Foundation to further develop the UCLP software. Furthermore, it has enabled the exchange and advancement of technical knowledge. “Our staff members have expanded their skills and have been able to work in a virtual setting with team members from diverse cultures”, says Michel Savoie. The product grade version of UCLP - Argia - is marketed by Inocybe Technologies Inc., a startup company based in Montréal. CRC‟s EU Phosphorus partners have migrated to the Argia software. Research groups and institutions can take advantage of the capabilities of UCLP to create discipline-specific ad hoc networks in fields such as high energy physics, astronomy and bio-informatics, which increasingly rely on sharing huge amounts of data. Such sharing can now take place through the use of remote peering, employing no-cost Internet peering exchanges. Similarly, UCLP can enhance the quality of high-definition video conferencing and virtual learning applications, as audio and video signals are transferred with minimal delay.

Opening Opportunities UCLP, which has now been adopted by international research networks, has enabled CRC‟s participation in the EU Phosphorus Integrated Project under the Research Networking Testbeds associated with the 6th Framework Program. CRC serves as the only non-European domain in the Phosphorus testbed, by controlling CANARIE network elements using the UCLP software. The Phosphorus project addresses some of the key technical challenges that enable on-demand end-to-end network services across heterogeneous multi-domains for grid and e-science applications. Phosphorus demonstrates solutions and functionalities across a testbed involving European National Research & Education Networks (NREN), GÉANT2, Cross Border Dark Fibre, GLIF connectivity infrastructure and CANARIE. The project consortium consists of 20 partners: 18 international partners from Europe and 2 partners from Canada, namely Nortel Networks and CRC.

Further benefits Canada is a recognized leader in the development and use of advanced research networks. This position is reinforced by collaborating with international partners and being involved with international demonstrations that utilize the CANARIE network CAnet4.

References: CRC CANARIE Inc. Inocybe Technologies Inc. i2CAT Foundation Phosphorus

By Michelle Mayer, Communications Research Centre Canada

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 4/ June 2009

REDUCING BARRIER FOR ACCESS TO EUROPEAN CULTURAL HERITAGE: Eu-ARTECH - Access Research and Technology for the conservation of the European Cultural Heritage

EU-ARTECH is a unique Integrated Infrastructure Initiative of the 6th F.P. (20022006) dedicated to the conservation of the European cultural heritage. It consists of a consortium of 12 leading institutions, including prestigious European museums, universities and research centres from 8 different countries developing together programs of networking, joint research, and transnational access. The main objective is to improve effective coordination among European countries, enhancing the quality of the research in artwork conservation, developing new applications, and offering new opportunities for advanced training of young scientists and scholars in the field.

Preservation of European cultural heritage for the benefit of future generations �Research in conservation has largely been developed during the last years in many qualified laboratories distributed all over Europe. Excellent results have been obtained, however, much more can be done to optimize analytical procedures, to extend the use of advanced resources, to better actuate conservation treatments and to disseminate information. The way to achieve this goal is to tighten the collaboration among European institutions and scientists, improving the access to advanced resources and know-how, and defining and diffusing common reliable good practices�. The coordinator, Prof. Brunetto Giovanni Brunetti, University of Perugia, told us the history of EU-ARTECH. The process started within the thematic network LabS TECH (Laboratories on Science and Technology for the conservation of the European Cultural Heritage) which was funded under the 5th Framework Programme (20012004). The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 4/ June 2009 From the long term collaboration of the project that involved a first nucleus of 6 European institutions, new ideas of cooperation emerged that led to the formulation of EU-ARTECH which involved 12 partners. The successful presentation of EU-ARTECH was due to the excellent work conducted by a team of the University of Perugia in close collaboration with the other members of the LabS TECH consortium. The University of Perugia has experience in European projects and is also member of the Agency of Promotion of European Research (APRE) that hosts national contact points for “Research Infrastructure” within the 6th and 7th Framework Programmes.

Benefits for various European users

European researchers, conservator-restorers, archaeologists and art historians can benefit from the EU-ARTECH networking results. Success has been obtained in the promotion of interdisciplinary encounters among different professionals, in the exchange of knowledge among institutions and in the formulation of common protocols dedicated to favor rapid exchange of information, good comparison of results and rational use of resources. After an enquiry on needs to improve interdisciplinary cooperation, a handbook for conservator-restorer, especially designed to spread knowledge on potentialities of analytical techniques among conservators/restorers, has been published with contributions from more than 50 international scientists. To strengthen the most advanced research in Europe and promote integration, Transnational Access was offered through Peer Review selection to two specific resources: the fixed laboratory AGLAE and the mobile facility MOLAB. AGLAE is a single laboratory at the Palais du Louvre in Paris, staffed by a unique team of art historians, restorers and scientists with special expertise in art conservation. During the 5 years of Eu-ARTECH development, 66 users‟ projects have been developed through access to AGLAE, leading to results that gave rise to numerous relevant publications in the international scientific literature of the field. Different types of objects have been investigated, including sets of pigments, ancient metal point drawings, Visigothic gold objects, Egyptian jewels from mummies of the late 17th dynasty, Limoges enamels, Renaissance ceramics, Byzantine coins, glasses from Italian paleochristian churches, mosaic tesserae from S.Marco in Venezia and others.

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 4/ June 2009 The second facility offered for access through EU-ARTECH is MOLAB, a unique collection of portable instrumentation for non-invasive in-situ measurements provided by a unified group of 4 Italian institutions based in Perugia and Firenze. During the 5 years of EU-ARTECH, 37 usersâ€&#x; projects have been carried out in the same site where the artwork is located or exhibited, through measurements that did not require neither sampling nor contact with the examined object. Through this activity several relevant artworks have been studied by users, such as paintings of Leonardo (at the National Gallery of London and at the Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg), modern paintings of Cezanne, Mondrian and Munch (at the Courtauld Art Institute Gallery of London, the Gemeentemuseum of Den Haag and the Munch Museum in Oslo), Renaissance majolica (at the V&A Museum and Wallace Collection in London), Byzantine mural paintings (at the St.Euthymios Chapel in Thessaloniki), ancient manuscripts as The Book of Kells or the Psalter Manuscript (at the Trinity College Library in Dublin and the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge) and many other prestigious objects. Joint Research Activity was dedicated to develop innovative conservation methods and advanced instrumentation. In particular, five new instrumentations for non-invasive in-situ measurements have been set-up and validated based on spectroscopy and multispectral imaging techniques. The long term aim was the improvement of the performance of the consortium infrastructure and, therefore, of the opportunities to be offered through access to the European researchers.

Additional information EU-ARTECH : Prof. Brunetto Giovanni Brunetti :

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 5/ November 2009

SHARE - Facing the Challenges of Ageing in Europe Ageing in Europe Ageing affects all of us, both as individuals and as societies. For individuals, ageing is an emotional topic because it affects us so profoundly. From the societal perspective, ageing is one of the megatrends in our century. This is particularly the case for Europe, which is already the continent with the highest proportion of older citizens. This population ageing process will continue for the biggest part of this century. Population ageing is often seen as a plague, threatening our living standards. Indeed, there are formidable challenges to our social security and health care systems in providing care to both family and social institutions. To live longer, however, also provides fascinating opportunity. The overlap of four generations is a novelty in human history and will provide the younger generation with more experiences to draw from. Modern technology and the increase of professions in which experience and management abilities are more important than physical strength will open new possibilities for older individuals to participate actively. The European countries‟ different cultures, their specific historically grown societal structures and distinct public policy approaches all have an impact on the ageing process. Understanding this impact and the effects of ageing is an important task for researchers in economics, social sciences and public health in order to turn the challenges of population ageing in Europe into opportunities.

SHARE – the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe SHARE sets up a database that delivers the full picture of the ageing process. It includes information on health, economic situation and both social and family networks of more than 45,000 individuals aged 50 or over. In order to grasp the dynamic character of the ageing process, these individuals are followed over time, i.e. they are interviewed every two years. SHARE thus responds to a Communication by the European Commission calling to “examine the possibility of establishing, in co-operation with Member States, a European Longitudinal Ageing Survey”.

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 5/ November 2009 The first interviews were conducted in 2004 in eleven European countries, ranging from Scandinavia (Denmark and Sweden), through Central Europe (Austria, France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, and the Netherlands) to the Mediterranean (Spain, Italy and Greece). In the meantime 3 waves of data have been collected and more countries have joined SHARE, namely the Czech Republic, Ireland, Israel and Poland, while Estonia, Hungary, Luxemburg, Portugal and Slovenia are scheduled to participate in the project‟s fourth wave in the years 2010-11.

Map of countries participating in SHARE (Waves 1-3)

To ensure cross-national comparability, rigorous procedural guidelines and programs are applied. SHARE is harmonized with the U.S. Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), and studies in Japan, Korea, China and India follow the SHARE model.

The collected data on health include information on self-reported health, health conditions, physical and cognitive functioning, health behaviour, use of health care facilities and bio-markers like grip strength, body-mass index and peak flow. Moreover, psychological variables as psychological health, well-being and life satisfaction are also included. With regard to their economic situation, respondents are asked for their current work activity, job characteristics, opportunities to work past retirement age, sources and composition of current income, wealth and consumption, housing and education. Questions related to social support cover assistance within families, transfers of income and assets, social networks and volunteer activities. Currently, more than 1.300 registered users are officially using the SHARE dataset and the number is constantly growing. Researchers may download the SHARE data free of charge from the project‟s website at, which also provides a bibliography and some full text publications based on SHARE data.

Why is SHARE so important? SHARE contributes directly to informing public policies, both in substance and by providing a much needed research tool. Its longitudinal, multidisciplinary and cross-nationally comparative approach is essential to analyse the long-term efficacy of welfare state interventions for example. Globalisation and population ageing exert large pressures on the European welfare state and necessitate reforms – especially of the labour markets, pension and

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 5/ November 2009 health care systems. Understanding employment at the age of 50-65 is crucial for coming closer to the realisation of the ambitious Lisbon and Stockholm employment targets. Expanding the knowledge base by generating and evaluating comparable cross-national data on older peopleâ€&#x;s current living conditions and their life histories provides a particularly large added value. There are two reasons why collecting data on a pan-European level is much more than the sum of its national parts. First, economic and social policy matters become more and more community matters due to the increasing personal and capital mobility, precipitating the adoption of common policies and common regulations such as the pension directive. Second, history has created an enormous diversity of institutions, policies and cultural norms, which caused significant variation in the health and financial circumstances of older people. Europe therefore represents a unique living laboratory, in which the various determinants of the current economic, health and socio-psychological state can be identified much easier than in the more homogeneous environment of a single country. Exploiting this living European laboratory provides the ground for major scientific breakthrough. The insights gained from analysing and comparing the diversity of experiences will help European countries to be more effectively prepared for the continuing challenges to their welfare systems in an ageing society. For more information on the project, please consult our website or write an email to the SHARE team (

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 6/ November 2009

BBMRI - The Power of Many Human biological and biomolecular samples are key resources in unravelling the true nature of disease. Collections of biological material such as tissues, cells, blood or DNA extracted from these are stored in what is commonly known as a biobank. Such data becomes very valuable if it can also be linked to medical, environmental and lifestyle information for more complete analysis. Existing national collections suffer from fragmentation and underutilisation due to lack of commonly applied standards and limited access by investigators. This has systematically hampered the collation of biological samples and data necessary for statistical analysis which in turn has slowed research into potential new treatments for diseases. In 2008, the Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI) was set up to coordinate a large scale biobanking network to share access to available biological samples and biomolecular tools in Europe. This infrastructure will cover major biobanks, molecular resources and biocomputing centres to ensure that the samples are linked to existing databases, scientific literature and statistical expertise.

Understanding Disease Biological resources are considered the essential raw material for the advancement of biotechnology, human health and R&D in life sciences. If well connected, catalogued and accessible, biobanks provide a crucial resource for academic and industry-based research to treat and prevent human diseases. Building on existing infrastructures, resources and technology, BBMRI will allow the identification of genetic risk factors (“disease genes�) and help define the relationships between genes, the environment and lifestyle. A sharper biology-based definition of disease categories will enhance the development of more effective treatments, reduce undesired and unintended side effects and improve clinical trial design. This unprecedented network could allow people to become aware of their susceptibility to specific disease conditions, opening the possibility of personalised medicine (targeted diagnostics and treatments). At the same time, BBMRI will support policy and scientific momentum to harmonise ethical, legal and quality standards across Europe.

Medical University of Graz

European Research Infrastructures BBMRI is one of the 44 initiatives selected for funding by the European Strategic Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). The forum brings together senior science policy officials representing the member state ministers, and a senior policy official form the European Commission. They have prepared a Roadmap that identifies pan-European Research Infrastructures (RI) of crucial importance to strengthen the European Research The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 6/ November 2009 Area, in particular for capacity building, but also for strengthening European diagnostics and pharmaceutical industries and thereby improving the health of EU citizens. These projects have received financial support within the EU‟s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) for research and technological development and demonstration. It will cover the initial set up stage that should allow the different initiatives to define and develop mechanisms that can provide the necessary funding after the preparatory phase. €5 million have Medical University of Graz been granted to the BBMRI to lay out the construction and operational process that will make its continuation possible.

Challenges The members of BBMRI have started preparing an inventory of European resources. More than 300 biobanks have been identified and recruited to join BBMRI. The biggest challenges they will face in the set up of the network will be the harmonisation of policies and standards, the establishment of a data protection system and the definition of the legal, ethical and financial governance of this new research infrastructure.

More information Further information about BBMRI and a list of the participating organizations can be accessed at To request interviews of contributions from BBMRI contact BBMRI in numbers: BBMRI has received €5 million from the European Commission to be spent in the preparatory phase of the project. Launched in February 2008, the participating organisations have 27 months to define the technical, legal, and financial aspects of the project. There are currently 51 members (universities, research centres, ministries, research councils) and more than 200 associated partners from 31 different European countries. The construction phase will take about 4 years and operational costs are currently estimated at 15€ million a year. The construction costs could amount for approximately 170€ million to be raised mostly at the member state level.

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 7/ April 2010

GLOBAL – Making the World a Smaller Place To go or not to go? Every researcher is confronted now and then with the decision whether to attend an interesting – and often important – conference. Various resource constraints, like time or budget, can easily tip the scales against going. Tiwonge Msulira Banda from the UbuntuNet Alliance (Africa) is living proof of that: “Our travel from Malawi to Vienna, Austria, takes about 24 hours. If it is a one-day or two-day meeting, it means travelling 24 hours coming and 24 hours going back just to attend [...].” In addition, our ecological footprint is bigger the more we travel and events like conferences are no exception. The GLOBAL project addresses these aspects and concentrates on offering viable solutions. Its infrastructure and services aim at supporting global research collaboration. Connecting scientists to an event, e.g. a symposium, via the virtual auditorium makes active engagement possible, be it as a speaker or regular attendee. The TV-like conferencing makes it easy for people to find their way around and communicate with each other effectively. Borka Jerman Blažič, professor at the Institut Jožef Stefan (Slovenia), states: “We communicate much easier [over distance] if we see each other – our partners, our friends, our professional colleagues –, and GLOBAL is enabling that.”

The Global infrastructure The GLOBAL infrastructure supports event types ranging from regular meetings to fully fledged virtual conferences that cover parallel sessions and many remote auditoria. Such complex events require the active support of the GLOBAL team. But it is not only about technology, as Claudia Córdova Yamauchi from CLARA (Latin America) emphasises, “[...] it is about the quality of life – how this technology is going to impact in the lives of people. This is the most important thing and I think GLOBAL is going to impact [on researchers' lives].”

TV-like videoconferencing

Global opens opportunities The GLOBAL project plays an active role in changing the European Research Area by opening up to other parts of the world and cooperating more closely with scientists globally. “When the GLOBAL project came along and we The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 7/ April 2010 were approached by the ZSI [Centre for Social Innovation, coordinator] to be part of this project we were delighted about the visibility it gives us African researchers and the possibilities to be part of the community. This is quite exciting,” says Margaret E. Ngwira, secretary of the UbuntuNet Alliance. With the GLOBAL infrastructure, research communities have the opportunity to make their engagement more effective. In addition to virtual meetings, the GLOBAL infrastructure supports networking, sharing of presentations, documents, pictures, and, for those who could not attend or wish to review certain material, event recordings can be watched at a later time. GLOBAL is a specific support action in the EU Framework Programme for RTD (FP7) and runs from May 2008 to October 2010. Especially during the proposal writing stage, the project relied on the helpful and insightful support of the NCP. It goes without saying that the project partners themselves exploit the infrastructure GLOBAL offers to researchers and research projects from Europe and around the world. To say it in Tiwonge Msulira Banda's words: “We [from Africa] could attend using the infrastructure that the project is working on. It gives so many opportunities to people from very far away or for people who cannot travel that very day to attend conferences.”

The benefits are real, also on the interpersonal level, so it is no wonder that Margaret E. Ngwira enthuses about the first physical project meeting that “[e]ven as we are just sitting in this meeting – you know we have Latin America, we have Africa, several European countries – we feel like one family together. We know each other virtually and when we meet for the first time physically we know each other. So it's a success.” GLOBAL will continue its efforts to provide and improve its services so that joint research collaborations can be more effective – there is still much to do to achieve the “ultimate goal”, which is, as professor Juan Quemada (from project partner UPM, Spain) puts it, “a world that is much smaller and much better connected than it is now.”

Additional Information: Contact: Dr. Margit Hofer (project coordinator), hofer|at| Website:

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 8/ April 2010

European Social Survey (ESS) – Monitoring Social Change in Europe The European social survey is a pan-european survey, carried out every two years, which charts Europeans’ social attitudes. Since 2001, it has generated a unique source of information on social attitudes to an extensive range of topics, from trust in institutions to attitudes and experiences of ageism. This information is stored in an easily accessible data bank which is used by academics, policy makers and others. The information gathered by the ESS contributes to knowing Europe in the 21st century and its potential to inform a range of public policy fields is increasingly recognised. The ESS is one of three social sciences initiatives on the ESFRI roadmap (2008) and it hopes to be amongst the first of the ESFRI Roadmap Projects to be awarded the status of ‘European Research Infrastructure Consortium’ (ERIC). EU Commissioner Janez Potočnik, reflecting on the award of the Descartes Prize for „excellence in scientific collaborative research‟ to the ESS, noted that: “The European Social Survey has developed a unique scientific methodology for mapping changes in social attitudes providing an authoritative source of EU data for academics and policy makers (opening speech at the Conference on Social Sciences and Humanities in Europe, European Parliament, 2005)”.

The Story of the ESS European societies are changing, some dramatically, others less so. Charting the changing attitudes of European citizens enables policy to be developed which takes account of the heterogeneous, as well as the similar, challenges facing European societies. The ESS aims to inform the policy making process, and to contribute to better governance. The ESS came into being at the initiative of the European Science Foundation in the late 1990s. It intended, from the outset, to overcome existing problems of comparative survey research and to be a time series which would allow comparison of the changing nature of European values and social attitudes. Led from City University, London, the ESS has from the outset been a multinational infrastructure, with key functions spread across seven key institutions in Europe. Started in 2001, it has acquired support, funding and participation from 34 national research councils/ministries in all parts of Europe, plus consistent central support for its design, coordination and dissemination from the EC and the European Science Foundation. It had also, by 2005, been recognized as a critical resource in building research excellence in the European Research Area. It was the first and, to date, the only European social science project to be awarded the Descartes Prize for excellence in collaborative scientific research.

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 8/ April 2010

The ESS as a Research Infrastructure The ESS is one of three social science initiatives on the ESFRI Roadmaps of 2006 and 2008. It is a distributed research infrastructure which will be operational in the following countries: UK; Germany; The Netherlands; Spain; Belgium; Norway; Slovenia. Its headquarters will continue to be at City University, London as the UK will be the host nation. To date, nineteen countries, plus the ESF, have signed a Statement of Commitment, pledging support to the future operation of the ESS ERIC. It is hoped that all 34 participating countries and others will join the ESS ERIC in the longer-term. ESS is building a major database which is used to chart change in European societies. Responsive to key social concerns and in every survey round, the core questionnaire is accompanied by two modules of specific topic questions designed by teams selected from a Europe-wide competition. Its importance for the European Research Area and its policy, scientific and public communities is not only that it provides an academically robust way of „knowing Europe‟ but also that it contributes to the scientific community‟s endeavor to develop, test and implement methods of reliable social measurement.

Additional information Principal Investigator: Professor Sir Roger Jowell Address: Centre for Comparative Social Surveys, School of Social Sciences, City University London, Northampton Square, London EC1V OHB, UK Tel: +44 207 040 4901 ESS website:

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 9/ October 2010

Development of pan-European Extreme Light Infrastructure Extreme-Light-Infrastructure (ELI) is aimed at establishment of an international research infrastructure that will use the most intense light pulses in the world for the benefit of a large variety of scientific disciplines. More than 40 research and academic institutions from 13 European countries have been involved since 2007 in the Preparatory Phase of ELI (ELI-PP) with the aim to bring the project to the level of scientific, technical, legal, organisational and financial maturity. By the middle of the next decade, the ELI project aims to build, commission and open to users the most powerful laser ever which will open the way to a totally new branch of optics – ultrarelativistic optics – giving rise to new avenues of research in particle physics, nuclear physics, astrophysics and cosmology. The European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) recognised this exceptional ambition by including ELI on its Roadmap of 44 large-scale research infrastructure projects and in 2007, as part of the 7th Framework Programme, the European Commission financed the Preparatory Phase of this project.

Scientific fields of study of ELI and its applications Unique in the world, it aims to provide scientists with the most powerful lasers that have hitherto existed. Using extreme laser intensities, exceeding the peak power of current most powerful lasers by two orders of magnitude, ELI aims to realize a long standing ambition of physicists to be able to break down vacuum into elementary particles and anti-particles. The ultra short time span of these pulses will enable extremely fleeting movements and reactions measured in attoseconds (10-18 s) or even shorter timescales to be observed in real time. Unique instruments will deliver high-quality synchronized sources of photons and particles which will find applications in the medical field, biology and materials science. In general, ELI should expand explosively the horizons of light and matter physics much influencing on European and the global science.

Afer the Preparatory Phase From the very beginning of this project it was clear that implementation of ELI represents a tremendous scientific and technological challenge which requires pan-European endeavour due to diversity and complexity of the planned facility. It was decided that the purposes of ELI will be best served by implementing it as a distributed infrastructure placed under the single governance of a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC). The four main ELI pillars have been identified and four different facilities will represent them: Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania will host beamline, attosecond and photonuclear pillars respectively while the location of the fourth – ultra-high intensity – pillar is still to be determined. Development of technologies, necessary for building all four facilities, will be carried out through coordinated and complementary programmes with ongoing national prototyping initiatives playing a significant role. In order to implement ELI on time, to budget and to specifications, a precise assessment of the human resources and expertise available in Europe will be needed.

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 9/ October 2010

Lithuanian laser science for ELI Vilnius University Quantum Electronics Department (QED) and Laser Research Center (LRC) is one of the participating institutions in this project and it brings two key scientific expertise aspects – optical parametric chirped pulse amplification (OPCPA) technique and metrology of optical components. Optical parametric amplification of chirped pulses was demonstrated for the first time at Vilnius University QED/LRC in 1992 by prof. A.P. Piskarskas and co-workers and nowadays this technique, essential for the generation of ultra-high intensity pulses, is widely used either separately or in conjunction with laser amplifiers. Despite tremendous progress since the first demonstration and already impressive numerous experimental achievements, OPCPA still has to be elevated to previously unattainable highs. QED/LRC continuous developments in this field will contribute to the collective efforts targeted at overcoming main bottlenecks on a way to record breaking light powers. Another important aspect is optical metrology and this activity is pursued by a group of optical material diagnostics at QED/LRC which investigates in detail the behavior of laser components at extreme intensities. This is a key issue for high-intensity lasers, such as ELI, since every optical element has to withstand incident intense light and it is as important to preserve costly optical components as to develop more durable ones which would allow reaching even higher intensities. QED/LRC is developing new techniques for real-time monitoring of critical components for damage prevention. Concurrently, a test station for characterization of various optical components is being established which allows to collect and analyze valuable data needed for production of novel and more durable components. Finally, it is believed that QED/LRC could become a perfect place for training future ELI employees in the field of nonlinear optics, optical parametric amplification and optical metrology.

Front-end of high-power OPCPA laser system prototype located at Vilnius University Quantum Electronics Department

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 9/ October 2010 The above mentioned scientific expertise could only emerge because Vilnius University QED/LRC has been an active player in the laser field for over 40 years. The first experiments on picosecond lasers and optical parametric amplifiers (OPA) were started in Vilnius University in 1969 and further research activity involved application of OPAs in ultrafast spectroscopy as well as various topics of nonlinear optics. Perhaps the most celebrated achievements of Lithuanian laser science are the development of powerful and broadly tunable picosecond and femtosecond OPAs and, particularly, the invention of OPCPA technique back in 1992. This technique will undoubtedly be at the core of most high intensity lasers, including those at ELI pillars. Vilnius University QED/LRC have successfully contributed to FP6 projects LASERLAB-EUROPE, ATLAS, NOVIGLAS and STELLA in the past and is continuing this international collaborative experience in FP7 projects such as ELI-PP, LASERLAB-EUROPE II and MesMesh. Current topics of research cover a broad scope of laser science, ranging from femtosecond nonlinear optics and laser femtotechnology to biomedical applications of lasers. Helped by recent national initiatives, laser technology group started to work on the development of high-average power and high-pulse energy lasers. The average power (laser pulse repetition rate) or peak power could be increased by employing the originally at QED/LRC demonstrated concept of coherent combining of multiple pump beams. The lasers developed here will comprise a front end of a new national laser facility NAGLIS to be constructed until 2013, which will hopefully provide a useful ground for testing scientific and technologic ideas on a smaller scale, before adopting them in the pan-European infrastructure. QED/LRC team is very optimistic and enthusiastic, because the use of OPCPA might actually enable ELI to reach the originally conceived goals and hopes to participate constructively in addressing the scientific and technological challenges that will arise in the implementation of ELI ideas.

More information Further information about ELI-PP and on the participating organizations can be accessed at: . Websites for ELI: attosecond pillar - beamlines pillar - photonuclear pillar - ELI-PP has received â‚Ź 6 million from the European Commission for the Preparatory Phase of the project. Starting in November 2007, the participating institutions had 36 months to define the technical, legal, and financial aspects of the project until the end of ELI-PP. Currently more than 40 laboratories in 13 different countries of the European Union are involved in various ELIPP activities. Several non-European countries might also participate in the future.

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 10/ June 2011

LAGUNA – basic science hand in hand with engineering The LAGUNA project (Design of a pan-European infrastructure for large apparatus studying grand unification and neutrino astrophysics) addresses the feasibility of a new European research infrastructure hosting a deep underground neutrino detector, much larger and more sensitive than those presently used, for fundamental research in astrophysics and particle physics. Neutrinos are very strange particles. Travelling with almost no interaction with matter, they can cross huge quantities of matter without being ever stopped. But why are neutrinos so important? Perhaps because they are among the most common particles in the Universe actually! As an example, each second billions of billions of such particles cross the Earth. And in a way, they are interesting to physicists precisely because they are not stopped easily. This means that they carry unique and original information about the processes that have occurred far away in the Galaxy and in the core of stars. What is inaccessible to telescopes “only” able to look at the surface of cosmic bodies with the light they receive becomes accessible to neutrino detectors, offering new crucial information from the Sun and exploding Supernovae.

Huge detectors required for fundamental particle physics research Neutrinos can also be produced at accelerators and these beams, sent over distances of hundreds of kilometres, help to reveal extraordinary properties of these mysterious particles. The study of these beam neutrinos could provide an explanation of the observed, but unexplained, existing amount of matter in the Universe and the striking absence of its corresponding antimatter. But to really open a new window to probe the Universe with neutrinos, physicists have to think big. Thus the principal goal of the LAGUNA project is to assess the feasibility of a new pan-European research infrastructure able to host the next generation of very large volume, deep underground neutrino observatory, in the range of 100,000 m3 – a dimension that would host about 40 Olympic swimming pools. Why so big? Because physicists track very rare phenomena and the bigger the detector is the better is the chance to catch some of these elusive particles. Besides enabling novel research in particle physics, the envisaged infrastructure may also lead to a verification of the Grand Unification Theory of fundamental interactions in Nature in an energy range inaccessible to existing accelerators.

A unique opportunity for testing the feasibility of building sites in Europe The design and building of a huge apparatus cannot be conducted within one single project. As a first step in such a massive endeavour, possible locations have to be evaluated carefully. But even this is a major task, which needs to be well coordinated between the countries where potential sites are located. Moreover, evaluation of building sites requires expertise from fundamental researchers and engineers.

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 10/ June 2011 The size of the proposed infrastructure, its importance for Europe, the fact that several countries and various types of expertize had to be involved qualifies such an endeavour for the FP7 Research Infrastructure sub-programme. The project LAGUNA was successfully submitted as a “Design study”-type project to an FP7 Research Infrastructure call in 2007. Design studies support the development of concepts for new research infrastructures with clear European dimension and interest. The project, coordinated by Professor André Rubbia, Head of the Institute for Particle Physics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich (ETHZ), unites 21 partners from universities, research organisations and industry. Seven prospective underground sites in Europe are being investigated, located in Finland, France, the UK, Italy, Poland, Romania and Spain. For each site, there are two partners: a scientific institute and a technical (engineering) partner. The role of the technical partner is to prepare the technical part of the design and to study the feasibility of the rock construction. The role of the scientific partner is to provide scientific expertise for the design, particularly outlining the requirements and preferences of the experiment. The site studies focus on the technical issues of underground large-scale civil engineering needed to host large volume instruments. The feasibility studies include geological studies of the sites, analysis of available rock samples and simulations of rock mechanics.


Schematic view of the LAGUNA neutrino observatory in the Pyhäsalmi site in Finland

By the end of 2011, when LAGUNA comes to an end after three years, complete feasibility analysis in each site are expected to be available and compared. The main aim of the LAGUNA project – the choice of the most suitable location for a large-scale underground apparatus – will be achieved. Then European physicists will be able to discuss with partners from other continents, as building of the envisaged infrastructure would need global support. “It is important to have a mature project in Europe when global decisions will come” says André Rubbia.

Additional information Coordinator: Prof. André Rubbia, Head of Institute for Particle Physics, ETH Zurich Email: Project website:

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 11/ August 2011

Euro-BioImaging: European Research Infrastructure for Imaging Technologies in Biological and Biomedical Sciences Euro-BioImaging ( is a large-scale pan-European research infrastructure project on the ESFRI Roadmap1. Its mission is to provide a clear path of access to a complete range of essential imaging technologies for every biologist and biomedical scientist in Europe. Euro-BioImaging will deploy a distributed biological and biomedical imaging infrastructure in Europe in a coordinated and harmonized manner. By providing access to and training in imaging technologies, and by sharing of best practice and image data, Euro-BioImaging will become an engine that will drive European innovation in imaging research and technologies.

Biomedical imaging in brief For medical research, imaging includes Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), X-ray Computed Tomography (CT), but also many other imaging technologies. Medical imaging can provide insight into the function and metabolism of organs allowing the visualization of the effectiveness of new targeted therapies, e.g. in cancer patients. For example, better detection of occluded blood vessels to improve the prediction of heart attack, earlier detection of growing tumours to improve the success rate in the fight against cancer, or monitoring the normal development of a foetus during pregnancy are all dependent on biomedical imaging. In biology, visualizing cells and tissues by light and electron microscopy has led to more discoveries than any other technology. By seeing how they look, function can be extracted and comparison of how healthy cells and tissues look in comparison to their pathological state provides extraordinary insight into the molecular nature of disease. Imaging technologies are thus the central technology platform that drives fundamental research in most disciplines within the biological and biomedical sciences.

Who is behind Euro-BioImaging? 1

ESFRI, the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures, is a strategic instrument to develop the scientific integration of Europe and to strengthen its international outreach. The competitive and open access to high quality Research Infrastructures supports and benchmarks the quality of the activities of European scientists, and attracts the best researchers from around the world. (Source: ESFRI website of the European Commission The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 11/ August 2011 Preparatory Phase Partners Euro-BioImaging has a strong and growing supporter base. The consortium of the initial project phase is scientifically coordinated by the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL, DE) and the European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research (EIBIR, AT). It comprises 39 beneficiaries from 15 European Member States and associated countries, and more than 180 associated partners from 26 European Member States and associated countries. Euro-BioImaging is formally endorsed by over 200 universities, research councils, funding bodies, ministries, and industry partners.

Collaboration with national imaging communities Furthermore, the Euro-BioImaging infrastructure project is the driving force to organize the European biological and biomedical imaging. The first step in this process is the self-organization of national imaging infrastructure providers in the Member States to define their needs and capabilities. The second step is to form a pan-European community of imaging infrastructure providers from the Member States that supports the Euro- BioImaging principles of coordination and harmonized infrastructure deployment, open access and highest training standards.

Added value for Europe Euro-BioImaging will have a profound impact on the European Research Area, European health and quality of life as well as European competitiveness in key industry sectors (imaging technologies, biotechnology, medical technologies, pharmaceutical industry). ACCESS TO IMAGING TECHNOLOGIES: Euro-BioImaging will allow scientists from all Member States to access a broad range of cutting edge imaging technologies they require for their valuable biological or medical research. Euro-BioImaging will guarantee that investment in imaging infrastructure is used in the most cost-effective and efficient way by applying Euro-BioImaging quality standards in management, access and service of imaging facilities. TRAINING: Standardized and high quality education of tomorrowâ€&#x;s scientists in applying advanced imaging technologies to study the single cell to the entire human being will be one of the major challenges in biology and medicine. Specific training programmes at Euro-BioImaging facilities will complement national efforts in education and Member States will benefit from an increase in expertise. IMAGING DATA: Biological and biomedical imaging will become one of the major data producers in the future and researchers are facing unprecedented challenges concerning image data management and analysis. The EuroBioImaging infrastructure will offer platforms for storing, sharing and processing biological and medical imaging data on a large scale.

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 11/ August 2011 ECONOMIC VALUE: Implementing the Euro-BioImaging infrastructure with its nodes in different regions of Europe will bring new job opportunities and perspectives for researchers, engineers, administrative and related staff. These positive effects will also radiate into the surrounding areas of technology development and services. EUROPEAN RESEARCH AREA: Euro-BioImaging closely cooperates with all Biological and Medical Sciences Research Infrastructures to overcome the fragmentation of the European research landscape.

When will Euro-BioImaging be launched and its benefits realized? Preparatory Phase: 2010-2013. A construction plan for a pan-European research infrastructure for biological and biomedical imaging technologies is developed. The legal, governmental and financial framework for implementation of the Euro-BioImaging infrastructure is being established. Costs are €7.9m with €5.2m funded by an EU Framework contract. Construction Phase: 2014-2017. The Euro-BioImaging infrastructure will be deployed by either newly constructed or major upgrades of existing facilities funded mainly by Member States. Total anticipated costs are of the order of several €100m, but due to the modular nature of Euro-BioImaging infrastructure nodes, investment can be scaled to national needs and capabilities. Operational Phase: 2017 onwards. Euro-BioImaging will provide training programmes in and access to state-of-theart imaging technologies in a distributed infrastructure of imaging facilities throughout Europe. Operating costs will be approximately 20% of construction cost per year to ensure continuous technology upgrades and the provision of highly trained staff. Quality of service will be continuously reviewed. Funding mechanisms through a mix of European and Member State measures will be laid out in the Preparatory Phase business plan.

More information

Further information on Euro-BioImaging and a list of the participating organizations can be accessed at Project Managers: Basic Biological Imaging

Medical Imaging

Dr. Antje Keppler EMBL, Meyerhofstraße 1 D- 69117 Heidelberg, Germany Tel: +49-6221-3878847

Dr. Pamela Zolda EIBIR, Neutorgasse 9 A-1010 Vienna, Austria Tel: +43-1-5334064-538

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 12 / January 2013

EAST-NMR – Enhancing Access and Services to East European users. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is a key technology for research in the modern Life Sciences, with an increasing impact on human health. This technology is unique in new areas of molecular systems biology providing detailed insight into protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions. NMR Research Infrastructures (RIs) offer resources necessary to conduct cutting-edge research and support a knowledge base among a broad group of European users. Europe has traditionally enjoyed a leadership role in NMR, but to maintain this position in spite of increasing international competition, scientific and technological capabilities throughout the EU must be fully exploited. This requires full mobilisation of all European countries, including Eastern Europe, where NMR applications are sparse.

The project The EAST-NMR project responds to the new challenges facing NMR and its RIs. The project is an Integrated Infrastructure Initiative activity (IÂł), meaning that it is composed of three types of activities: transnational access, joint research activities and networking activities. EAST-NMR provides transnational access to NMR instrumentation based in Eastern Europe and also to solid-state NMR facilities which are an emerging technology at international level. The joint research activities are focused on advanced sample preparation technologies, especially those tackling membrane proteins. The networking activities are focused on good practices for the users and for virtual research communities and include among others twinning activities for young scientists in order to promote knowledge transfer between scientists working in the NMR field in Europe.

700 MHz NMR spectrometer installed in Faculty of Chemistry, University of Warsaw since 2006

The EAST-NMR consortium comprises 21 partners. Eight NMR Research Infrastructures make the necessary transnational access possible (especially to solid-state NMR) for research groups in Eastern Europe. Transnational access to NMR is devoted to outreach to new users, both those in Eastern-Europe and those who will benefit from state-of-the-art technology in solid-state NMR. Applications for gaining access to EAST-NMR Research Infrastructures can be submitted continuously through an online proposal management system. The consortium comprises two industrial partners active in the joint research


The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 12 / January 2013

The infrastructure The East-NMR project is the successor of, EU-NMR (European Network of Research Infrastructures for Providing Access and Technological Advancements in bio-NMR) funded under FP6. The EU-NMR project provided access to five Research infrastructures for bio-NMR. Within FP7, the European NMR consortium envisaged that to maintain a leading role in NMR, scientific and technological capabilities throughout the EU had to mobilize more European countries, particularly New Member States, where NMR applications were sparse. Four recognized East-European facilities(Brno, Debrecen, Ljubljana, and Warsaw) were invited to provide Transnational Access to their NMR infrastructure within East-NMR. The East-NMR project was mostly successful for the high-field NMR facility, located at the Faculty of Chemistry of the University of Warsaw. The research carried out by Prof. Wiktor Koźmiński and his team is focused on the methodological advances in NMR spectroscopy in chemistry and biochemistry. In particular new developments in the field of multidimensional biomolecular NMR attract many users, not only from East and Central Europe, but also from other countries with rich NMR infrastructures. The success of the Transnational Access to the Warsaw NMR RI can be illustrated by the more than 200 TA days provided (as to the 160 TA days expected) over the project duration.

Additional information

Prof. Wiktor Koźmiński responsible for high-field NMR facility at Warsaw University

More information about EAST-NMR and a list of the participating organizations is available at More biological NMR infrastructures are accessible within the Bio-NMR project ( ).

Contact Prof. Wiktor Koźmiński University of Warsaw, Faculty of Chemistry Email:

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:



Issue 13 / May 2013

Instruct - Integrated structural biology unlocking the secrets of life

What is it? Instruct is a European Research Infrastructure within the ESFRI roadmap, that provides a centrally coordinated programme enabling European structural biologists to access some of the best technology in Europe. In the last five years, Instruct has established a distributed infrastructure that makes possible for scientists from across Europe to develop integrated approaches to structural biology. No single European country has the entire infrastructure or associated technologies needed to support structural biology research, nor does any single member state have research institutes with all the expertise needed to develop integrated structural biology. Instruct is helping to maintain Europeâ€&#x;s leading role in this important and competitive bio-medical science. Instruct has secured the membership and subscriptions of nine countries: France, Italy, Israel, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, Czech Republic and The Netherlands. Membership secures access to all Instruct resources for scientists. It also confers representation on the Instruct Board that sets strategic objectives for the organisation and provides a valuable top level view of the European structural biology community, its strengths, future requirements and global position. Instruct business is conducted via the Coordination office established in the United Kingdom, and scientific operations are run through 15 Instruct Centres and five Instruct Affiliate Centres, distributed widely across the European Union.

What do we offer and why it matters? The Instruct access programme is run online, using a simple, transparent peer reviewed process to allocate access based on merit and scientific impact. By coordinating with other European funded projects which fund infrastructure access for structural biology Instruct is helping to streamline the process and add value by facilitating logical scheduling and ensuring expert support for users. Structural biology has a significant impact on molecular medicine. The early drugs developed to

Visualising samples in the cryo-electron microscope. Copyright/Credit: Paul Wilkinson Photography

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 13 / May 2013 treat HIV were structurally designed to stop the virus multiplying in the body. Tamiflu, which is used to treat influenza, is another example of a structurally designed drug. Recent pioneering work in structural vaccinology opens new opportunities for high impact translational research areas.

Added value of a European approach Structure based methods are an increasingly valuable tool to understand biological function and are key steps in vaccine and drug design pipelines. Although the individual methodologies and technologies in structural biology are well tested and recognised, the potential benefits of an integrated structural biology approach are huge, allowing very high impact and complex problems to be tackled that would otherwise be impossible or at least significantly slower to be resolved. This will support European researchers, institutes and companies to remain world leaders. Integrated structural biology will also drive new developments in medicine such as more powerful design strategies and effective screening of drugs, ultimately taking us closer to meeting the grand challenges facing society of hunger, All participants at the signing ceremony including Instruct scientists representatives of all eight member states and the European Commission disease and ageing. Copyright/Credit: Miguel Amortegui

When will it be operational? Instruct was funded through the FP7 ESFRI Roadmap Preparatory Phase (01/04/2008 – 31/03/2011) which established a governance and operational structure for Instruct, formulated the strategic goals, founded the initial partnership on which Instruct membership is built and worked with national and institutional bodies to secure initial strategic and financial support for Instruct. From 01/04/2011, Instruct has been in a transitional operational phase, delivering the first access through the proposal web portal, formulating and delivering the first training programmes, establishing broader and more robust network relationships with many stakeholder groups. Fluid communication with the research infrastructure national contact points in the different Instruct member states is vital for planning the future strategy to link with the objectives of Horizon2020

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 13 / May 2013

Instruct Centres Instruct Members come from all over the European Union. Instruct Centres sited around Europe provide access to expertly supported sophisticated technology for structural biology, often facilitating correlative approaches to tackle important research questions.

The Instruct Centres and their Principal Investigators are; Centre-UK (University of Oxford UK; Dave Stuart) Centre-France 1 (IGBMC Strasbourg FR; Dino Moras) Centre-France 2 (PSB/EMBL Grenoble FR; Eva Pebay-Peyroula/ Stephen Cusack) Centre-Germany 1 (MPIB Martinsried DE; Wolfgang Baumeister) Centre-Germany 2 (MPIBP Frankfurt DE; Hartmut Michel) Centre-Italy (CERM Florence IT; Lucia Banci) Centre-Israel (Weizmann Institute IL; Joel Sussman) Centre for Virus Production (Biocenter Finland FI; Dennis Bamford) Centre for Bioinformatics (Tel Aviv University IL; Haim Wolfson) Centre for Computational Biology (Research Complex Harwell UK; Martyn Winn)

Centre for Protein Production (Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research – Braunschweig, DE; Joop van der Heuvel) Centre for Solid State NMR (Leibniz Institute for Molecular Pharmacology - Berlin DE; Hartmut Oschkinat) Centre for Mass Spectrometry (University of Oxford UK; Carol Robinson and Utrecht University NL; Albert Heck) Centre for Image Processing (CNB Madrid ES; Jose Maria Carazo) Affiliate Centre Instruct-NL (Reinout Raijemakers) Affiliate Centre Instruct-SE (Gunter Schneider and Par Nordlund) Affiliate Centre Instruct-PT (Maria Armenia Carrondo) Affiliate Centre Instruct-CZ (Vladimir Sklenar/Jan Dohnalek) Affiliate Centre Instruct-Be (Han Remaut/ Jan Steyaert)

For more information Prof Dave Stuart MRC Professor of Structural Biology, Division of Structural Biology, Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, University of Oxford

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 14/ July 2013

SCI-BUS: The Scientific gateway Based User Support SCI-BUS is a European funded project that aims to simplify the life of e-scientists. By creating a generic-purpose gateway customisation methodology, SCI-BUS provides unified access to and seamless integration of the underlying computing, data and networking infrastructures and services for the major distributed computing infrastructures (DCI's) in Europe including clusters, supercomputers, grids, desktop grids, academic and commercial clouds

Science gateways Research environment has reached a high level of specialisation as computing technologies are offering different services and tools to different research communities. Researchers can find, in the distributed computing infrastructures, opportunities to open new lines in their field of research. However, the complexity of the DCI's and the constantly changing technology can be a barrier for scientists. In this context, science gateways were created to ease the access to infrastructures for end-users. Some of them are built for a very specific task while many others are built for communities of members demanding the same features such as monitoring, authentication, visualization tools, workflow management or job execution.

The project SCI-BUS simplifies the life of scientists by creating a new science gateway customisation methodology based on the generic-purpose gUSE/WS-PGRADE portal family (grid and cloud User Support Environment). The customised science gateways enable scientists to focus on their research and allow them to access the resources of main DCIs without technical knowledge of the infrastructure. Moreover, SCI-BUS provides gateway services for different types of user communities and NGI user communities by giving support for users and gateway developers and administrators to build, operate and use their own customised gateways. Seismology, astrophysics, rendering, business process modelling or life sciences are some of the communities supported and taking advantage of this infrastructure. A portlet repository and an application repository for the underlying custom applications are also at the disposition of the user communities.

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 14/ July 2013

The partners SCI-BUS is a EU funded project with 15 partners from 10 different countries. The consortium is made up of research institutes, universities and ICT companies. It started in September 2011, and during the first year of the project an open call for subcontractor led to the selection of 6 subcontractors. Subcontractors are typically organizations whose communities need a Science gateway to access DCI resources in a convenient and transparent way, and are willing to work with the widely utilized Liferay based WSPGRADE/gUSE portal that enables customization to the needs of each community.

The SCI-BUS team

Due to the success of the subcontractor call, a new open call for collaboration was launched: the Associated Partners. Associated Partners are not directly connected to the project in financial terms but they can attend the SCI-BUS project meetings and are actively supported by SCI-BUS to develop and set up their own science gateway.

How to join SCI-BUS? It is very simple, if an organization is interested in joining SCI-BUS as an associated member, it has to fill in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the organization and SCI-BUS, sign it and send it to the project coordinator, Peter Kacsuk. Once the MoU is signed it becomes effective and the strong collaboration between the organization and SCI-BUS can start. SCI-BUS keeps an active search of new communities and members of the project are attending different meetings and work sessions in order to give visibility to the project. Not only research groups are invited to participate in the project. Industrial companies can also apply for collaboration. The sustainability model takes into account the interest and the point of view of the commercial area, very valuable for the impact of the project. An example is the next SCI-BUS summit that took place in Zurich, 3-5th June, (, where special sessions were focused on sustainability and industrial participation. SCI-BUS is supported by other projects and organizations that help in the dissemination of its activities and the developments and results carried out. EGI project, with its annual User and Community Forums, the participation in the EGI Virtual Team of Science Gateways, some national and international networks and ICT forums, provide useful channels to disseminate the project and to find new users. The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 14/ July 2013

More information Further information on SCI-BUS: Coordinator: Prof. Peter Kacsuk Email: Phone/Fax: +36 1 329 7864

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 15/ August 2013

SHIWA –SHaring Interoperable Workflows for large-scale scientific simulations on Available DCIs Abstract SHIWA is a EU funded project focusing on the interoperability of the existing workflow systems. Workflow systems provide a language to formalize scientific experiments computational flow and an execution back-end interface to one or more Distributed Computing Infrastructures (DCIs) enabling workflows to exploit efficiently the DCIs resources. SHIWA provides a workflows repository allowing scientists to publish and share executable workflow artefacts among user communities and an execution environment, the so-called SHIWA Simulation Platform, to execute these workflows in all the available Distributed Computing Infrastructures (DCIs) in Europe.

Workflow interoperability Workflow applications are very widely used to perform scientific applications on the grid infrastructure. User communities from all around Europe use different workflow languages developed using one of the workflow engines. Workflow development, testing and validation are time consuming processes and it requires specific expertise. All these factors have as consequence that only a limited number of workflows are available, making it important to be able to reuse them. Moreover, workflows developed on different workflow systems are normally not compatible with each other. In the past if two user communities using different workflow systems wanted to collaborate, they had to create the workflows from scratch to transform them to the desired workflow languages. Nowadays, this situation can be resolved by new emerging workflow interoperability technologies. According to these new technologies, publicly available workflows can be used by different research communities on different workflow systems and on multiple distributed computing infrastructures. SHIWA project provides a powerful solution for communities with connected research areas but using workflows written in different languages or running their workflows on different workflow systems. With the help of SHIWA products they are able to co-operate to achieve more complex results. SHIWA allows also the users to access to a larger computational power thanks to the interoperability between different DCIs.

The applications One of the most successful applications of the SHIWA services, LINGA (LInked Neuroscientific Grand chAllenge) was realised for one of the projectâ€&#x;s subcontractors, MaatG, a French SME specialized in the developments of Health Information Systems (HIS) based on Distributed Computing Infrastructures (DCI). LINGA is the first large-scale neuroscientific experiment that involves the three globally separated neuroscientific infrastructures, i.e. the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative in the US (LONI),

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issue 15/ August 2013 Europe (neuGRID) and Canada(CBRAIN), thus mixing different technologies at the same time (involving more than 2000 CPU cores per execution cycle) The LINGA workflow analyses the patientâ€&#x;s cortical thickness through a demanding image processing pipeline onto data sources hosted and processed by the three international neuroscience DCIs. Once the analysis is finished, the outputs are sent back to the European Grid Infrastructure and statistically compared with selected meaningful criteria, and used to produce the graphs neuroscientists will then use to base their interpretations. Porting the LINGA workflow with SHIWA technologies speeds up (up to seven times) the database analysis time of the thousands of brain scan images from Alzheimerâ€&#x;s patients. This allows the available data to be statistically organised and used for further research activities. Therefore the framework developed by the SHIWA consortium enables orchestration between the heterogeneous infrastructures, which is a huge step forward in neuroscience.

Future of the project The SHIWA project ended on 30 September, 2012, however to keep the services online, all the consortium partners agreed to provide service and support for existing and new users after the end of the project. A business plan was created to operate the created production level services. The recently started ER-flow project provides assistance for this activity where many of the service provider consortium members are participating. The SHIWA website has been driven to be more informative and focuses on attracting new user communities who might be interested about the SHIWA services. The website will be preserved to store all the collected information and serve as a communication point between the developers and the user communities through the SHIWA User Forum.

More information The official SHIWA Technology website: Project Coordinator

Prof. Peter Kacsuk Email:

The success stories can be downloaded at the following address:


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.