EUDAT Conference 2022 showcases the latest innovations in research data management solutions

The first public day of the EUDAT Conference 2022 focused on the wider European Research Data Management (RDM) landscape.


The opening session started with a welcome from the host country, including warm messages from the Greece General Secretariat for Research and Innovation (Fenia Adamidi, Associate at the General Secretariat) and EUDAT member GRNET (Aris Sotiropoulos, CEO), the National Research and Education Network for Greece. This was followed by Christian Cuciniello, Open Science Policy Officer at the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission (EC), who joined remotely and highlighted the importance of Open Science as a policy priority for the EC. Next was EOSC Association Director Sara Garavelli (CSC), who stated why both EUDAT and EOSC are important to one another, and called for EUDAT to continue contributing to the development of EOSC. The session closed with Antti Pursula(CSC), Head of the EUDAT CDI Secretariat, who gave an overview of EUDAT’s history, service suite, use cases, contributions to EOSC, membership, usage, and role in the EU landscape.

Research Data Management Challenges and Available Solutions

The next session provided an overview of the research data solutions landscape, chai by Rob Carrillo (Trust-IT), EUDAT Outreach Coordinator and Antti Pursula (CSC), EUDAT Secretariat Head. 


Eleni Toli, NI4OS-Europe, began the session speaking about RDM Gaps in the Balkans and South Eastern Europe - Insights from the NI4OS Survey which collected information from 1170 stakeholders. The main challenges to RDM identified included, lack or low level of Open Science policy, infrastructure, integration with EU networks, funding, and skills. She highlighted the fact that although there are challenges, there is ongoing work over the last 20 years by the OpenAIRE Network and Services to face these challenges, and they are now able to offer an impressive selection of RDM services tailored to their region.


Next, Debora Testi (CINECA), EUDAT CDI Secretariat User Engagement Coordinator, gave an overview of EUDAT: Services for Sharing Research Data Across Borders and Disciplines. Rather than focusing in detail on specific services, she outlined how EUDAT provides for the full research data lifecycle across borders while helping to make that data FAIR. Then Milan Danecek from CESNET presented the CS3MESH4EOSC project which develops the ScienceMesh as a solution for sharing data and collaborating between different independently operated Sync&Share systems. This is especially important for collaboration across different institutions and borders.


Shaun de Witt (UKAEA) then presented Making Fusion Data FAIR as a prerequisite to using Open Cloud Resources speaking about the FAIR4FUSION project. The project made comprehensive assessments of FAIR data requirements and open data issues in the fusion programme, recommendations on the best technical approaches for providing access to data, development of support platforms and tools required to implement an open data policy adapted to the needs of the fusion research programme, and pooling the talent and knowledge from big science programmes and organisations. This was followed by Tommi Suominen presenting the newly funded FAIRCORE4EOSC project which is building EOSC-Core components to enable a FAIR EOSC ecosystem


The next presentation was by Stephan Hachinger, Research Data Management Team Lead & Distributed Data Infrastructure Lead at Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) on The LEXIS Platform: HPC/Cloud Workflows and EUDAT-based Data Management for Big Data Applications. The LEXIS Platform allows orchestration of complex scientific and industrial workflows which can be easily run on distributed HPC and Cloud resources. The final presentation was by Giulia Malaguarnera, Outreach and Engagement Officer at OpenAIRE, on Challenges in RDM? A catalogue of solutions by OpenAIRE. This catalogue includes numerous services to Discover, Monitor and Publish research data.

EUDAT Services Showcase and Developments Overview

This session was focused on the full EUDAT RDM “B2” service offering, with specific presentations on B2SAFE, B2SHARE, B2FIND and B2HANDLE by the service owners.


It started with EUDAT Secretariat Technical Coordinator Mark van de Sanden (SURF), giving a EUDAT: Service Overview. He presented the brand new Service Catalogue on the EUDAT website which was launched during his session. He also spoke about B2INST, a new service planned for release in 2023.


After Mark, B2SHARE Service Owner Chris Ariyo (CSC) presented on A Secure B2SHARE which is based on EUDAT’s B2SHARE but with additional sensitive data features (giving access controls to those data). It is still under development and is not yet an available addition to the B2SHARE service.


After this, B2FIND Service Owner Claudia Martens (DKRZ) gave an Update on B2FIND. B2FIND is an interdisciplinary  discovery portal for research output that allows free term search, results may be narrowed down using several facets, including spatial and temporal search options. It is a registered discovery service in EOSC and is the central indexing tool in EOSC-hub. It is also part of a number of EOSC projects, including DICE, EOSC Future and FAIRCORE4EOSC.


Next, the B2SAFE Service Owner Michele Carpené (CINECA) presented an update on B2SAFE. B2SAFE is a service which allows community and departmental repositories to implement data management policies on their research data across multiple administrative domains in a trustworthy manner. The key developments and next steps being taken are the integration of B2SAFE with HPC and better bridging between B2SAFE and B2SHARE.


The last presentation was from B2HANDLE Service Owner Themis Zamani (GRNET) on Update on PIDs – B2HANDLE and EUDAT DataCite Consortium. B2HANDLE is the distributed service for storing, managing and accessing persistent identifiers (PIDs) and essential metadata (PID records), as well as managing PID namespaces. The implementation of the service relies on the DONA/Handle persistent identifier solution. B2HANDLE can be used by middleware applications, end-user tools and other services to reliably identify data objects over longer time spans and through changes in object location or ownership. EUDAT is a consortium member of DataCite. This means that EUDAT in future will be able to use DOIs in future as well.


Poster Session and Research Data Exhibition & Networking Open Session 


Next was a poster lightning session followed by the Research Data Exhibition & Networking Open Session.


Each of the Posters accepted by the EUDAT Conference were displayed in the exhibition space, but were presented by their authors in 2 minute lightning talks. The posters were:


There were also exhibition stands from:


With the first public day providing a wider view of the landscape, the second day went into detail on these research data solutions in practice. 

Research data in south-east Europe

The day started with a session on Research Data Management Solutions in National and Regional Initiatives led by EUDAT’s local member, GRNET. 


It began with GRNET European Infrastructures and Projects - Implementation Unit Head Themis Zamani who presented GRNET’s activities in Integrated service provisioning for national and pan-European user communities, examples of which include computing, storage, and various digital services. One interesting point mentioned was apart from providing services for the education and research sector, they have expanded their scope where they now also implement digital e-government services for the Greek government from the COVID19 testing and certification systems to handling requests for criminal records or temporary driving licences. 


This was followed with a presentation on DAEDALUS, the Southeast European EuroHPC petascale collaboration by GRNET European Infrastructures and Projects Deputy Director Dr. Evangelia Athanassaki. Prompted by a growing need for HPC resources on GRNET’s ARIS HPC infrastructure along with growing usage across the region, DAEDALUS was conceptualised to be an example of south-east european collaboration involving Greece, Cyprus, Macedonia, Montenegro. The model envisions not only considering financial contributions from countries, but rather also in-kind contributions through experts, expertise, applications and scientific cases which can translate into shares of access time. The consortium is expected to operate starting from 2023 up until 2029. 


The last presentation was on NI4OS-Europe – regional Open Science Cloud platform presented by NI4OS-Europe Project Coordinator and GRNET European Infrastructures and Projects Director Dr. Ognjen Prnjat. He showcased how NI4OS-Europe supported the development and inclusion of the Νational Open Science Cloud Ιnitiatives in 15 Member States and Associated Countries in the overall scheme of EOSC governance, provided technical and policy support in on-boarding of the existing and future service providers

into EOSC and finally, spread the EOSC and FAIR principles in the community and train it. He concluded saying that initiatives such as NI4OS-Europe along with others help retain talent within the region, eases the digital divide with the rest of the EU, supports joint R&D efforts and even contributes to regional political stability and cohesiveness. 

FAIR data management use cases in focus

Following this, there was a session on Data Management Use Cases led by the DICE project chaired by its coordinator, Debora Testi and its Outreach, Stakeholder Engagement and Service Uptake Lead John Favaro. 


SURF Research Data Management Advisor & CompBioMed T5.2 Data Platform Integration Task Lead Narges Zarrabi talked about Moving towards FAIR Data in CompBioMed using EUDAT & DICE Services. She explained how EUDAT’s B2SAFE, B2SHARE and B2HANDLE were used to support computational biomedicine workflows from data creation, transfer, pre-processing, replication, processing and analysis and finally to publication and preservation. 


ASTRON’s Hanno Holties then showcased how they undertook the Publication of a LOFAR data release. Radio astronomy, especially under LOFAR, is data intensive and spans multiple countries. Hanno described the use of virtual observatory data standard, further FAIR-ification through PIDs, use of the SURF data repository and allowing discovery through B2FIND. This allowed usage of the data across the world and well past the communities that produced them. 


The Benefits for research communities from FAIRCORE4EOSC components were then described by FAIRCORE4EOSC’s Heinrich Widmann through their case studies spanning climate change, mathematics, social sciences and humanities, European integration of national-level services and through service providers and research data management communities. 


Anca Hienola from the Finnish Meteorological Institute, in her presentation Be FAIR with METIS (by EUDAT) then talked about how EUDAT services such as B2SHARE, B2FIND, B2HANDLE and B2ACCESS have been integrated into FMI’s METIS research data repository helping the FMI repository become user friendly and their data to be more “FAIR”.


DKRZ’s Claudia Martens then talked about B2FIND: flexible and user-centred Discovery Portal that acts on Community's needs. She gave the examples of Nordic Archaeology, IVOA, Blue-Cloud, and PaNOSC and how B2FIND has improved the discoverability of the various communities' data.

How EUDAT and RDM solution providers can support NRENs and Universities

In the session, Exploring future collaborations: opportunities for NRENs and Universities”, GÉANT’s Sarah Jones explained The roles of NRENs and universities in Data Management. She highlighted that universities enable data management at the grassroots while NRENs can support coordination at the national level. 


Heanet’s Roberto Sabatino then followed this up with a presentation on How an NREN can support RDM and gave the example of how generally at the national level, there is no existing structure in place to discuss researchers’ IT requirements and Heanet is taking this topic on in Ireland. His presentation concluded with some opportunities found with EUDAT such as how EUDAT can be a partner for providing technology, services and tools for RDM as researchers demand well organised storage and RDM services. 


A joint presentation was then delivered by UCL’s James Wilson and Research Space’s Rory Macneil, Towards an integrated approach to Research data management: UCL and Leiden/SURF examples. It began with a description of their research data lifecycle and needs in UCL. RSpace then shared their vision for an ecosystem for supporting  reproducibility and FAIR data spanning data preparation to active research up to archiving, storage and reuse and how this can fit in UCL. 


The session concluded with a panel discussion involving Anastas Mishev from UKIM & NI4OS, Bianca Gualandi from the University of Bologna, Milan Danecek of CESNET, Debora Testi of CINECA & EUDAT and James Wilson from UCL.

DICE advances state of the art on research data services

The last session of the conference was on “DICE Progress Highlights” chaired by DICE Integration with other services & platforms WP4 Leader Daniel Mallmann (FZJ). 


It started with Progress highlights on integration of data services with computing platforms by Chris Ariyo (CSC) who talked about integration of data services (B2SAFE, B2SHARE, B2DROP, B2FIND, B2HANDLE) with European computing platforms and infrastructures, like Lumi, FENIX and EuroHPC and enabling analysis, data replication, and data publication for HPC and cloud computing environments. 


DICE Long Term Preservation Task 4.3 Lead Wilko Steinhoff (DANS) then talked about Long-term Preservation Policy template & DICE Digital Preservation Service (DDPS). The LTP Policy Template covers ingestion, archival storage, data management, administration, preservation planning and access while the DDPS will implement the LTP policy for B2SHARE in a CTS-certified archive. 


Tibor Kalman (GWDG) then introduced a new PID solution for instruments - the B2INST service. Tibor mentioned the main motivation came from a need to create a public service to

describe, register, and reference scientific instruments. At the moment, while the service is not yet an official service of the EUDAT catalogue, it is currently undergoing this process. 


Chris Ariyo (CSC) then returned for an update on Progress Highlights on Sensitive Data Management where DICE developed “SecureB2SHARE” which aimed to provide sensitive data management without violating privacy, yet maintaining FAIR principles in a user-friendly way. Several pilot instances have already been implemented with others in progress. 


The session ended with EUDAT services in the EOSC Ecosystem by Themis Zamani (GRNET). More than EUDAT services being available on the EOSC Portal Marketplace, many of EUDAT’s internal systems integrate seamlessly with the EOSC Portal and Core services including B2ACCESS and the EOSC AAI, EUDAT’s SPMT and the EOSC Resource Catalogue, both helpdesk, monitoring and accounting systems and the EUDAT DPMT with the EOSC Order Management system.


To close the event, EUDAT CDI Secretariat Head Antti Pursula recalled the original motivation for organising the EUDAT Conference which was to have a forum to gather research data professionals and bring to the fore the latest innovative services and solutions for research data management. He expressed his thanks to the representatives from the local EUDAT member, GRNET, the programme committee, the chairs and speakers and to Trust-IT for making the conference a success. He also thanked those who took the trouble to attend in person and for those who joined the conference remotely for their time.


Watch the event highlights