Serpens for Kepler
e-Infrastructure Reflection Group Support Programme 4
The objectives of the proposed e-IRGSP4 project are to assist the e-IRG in achieving its goals by providing full operational services. These are the services, which are already provided by the previous and present support programmes but new activities and more involvement by the support programme will be needed. With the approval of its new strategy e-IRG will be more engaged and active, which will also lead to a stronger involvement and engagement of the support programme. Furthermore e-IRG will cultivate its relationship with ESFRI, which will also demand for a stronger involvement of the support programme.
Scheduled finish date: 2016-11-30
Although the engagement of the support programme will increase the different categories in which the support programme will support e-IRG remain the same: secretarial services, policy support actions, and dissemination.
The following support activities will be performed:
• Organisation of e-IRG workshops and other events;
• Preparation of e-IRG delegate meetings;
• Secretarial tasks for e-IRG Chair and e-IRG Executive Board.
Supporting the preparation of e-IRG publications:
• White Papers;
• Blue Papers;
• Task Force Reports;
• Quick reaction documents;
• Workshop reports;
Supporting the work of e-IRG Task Forces;
• Supporting the e-IRG in the engagement with relevant stakeholders;
• Fostering the collaboration between national and pan-European e-Infrastructure and research infrastructure initiatives and stakeholders;
Dissemination of e-IRG information;
The specific support activities to be carried out by the e-IRGSP4 project will ultimately be determined by the e-IRG delegates.
The rationale for the support activities mentioned above is detailed in the following paragraphs;
Organisation of e-IRG workshops and other events
During each EU presidency e-IRG organises a workshop on relevant topics of e-Infrastructures. The goal of these workshops is to inform the delegates and stakeholders on current developments, to acquire input and feedback, and also to raise awareness on the work of the e-IRG community. The previous e-IRG support projects have supported the local organising committees of the host countries in the preparation of these workshops, and also during and after these workshops. One activity within this context is the strong involvement of ESFRI, with regard to the overall topic of the event. The e-IRGSP4 project will continue this support activity.
To take the quality and the impact of its documents to a higher level and to increase the involvement of external expertise e-IRG is planning to explore and evaluate alternative modes of input gathering like user-driven reflection events (“charrettes”). e-IRGSP4 will support these activities by organizing the events and evaluating the outcome of the different approaches.
Collaborative workshops with ESFRI and other e-Infrastructure initiatives to act on the topics described in the ERA communication are described in the section “Foster the collaboration between national and pan-European e-Infrastructure and research infrastructure initiatives and stakeholders”.
Preparation of e-IRG delegate meetings
The e-IRG delegates’ meeting is the plenum where the e-IRG delegates discuss the key issues of importance for the e-infrastructure community. At present e-IRG holds two delegate meetings during each EU presidency. The previous e-IRG support projects have supported the preparation and the follow-up activities of these meetings and the e-IRGSP4 project will continue this activity.
The tasks of the Secretariat are defined in the e-IRG Bylaws as:
“The Secretariat assists the e-IRG in its operation. In particular it assists the Chair and the Executive Board in preparing and circulating draft agendas, meeting summaries, and related documents and maintaining the e-IRG website. The cost of the Secretariat may be covered by funding received from the European Commission and by voluntary contributions from individual e-IRG members.”
“A general report on what areas of activity are being dealt with by e-IRG will be made available once a year, via the Secretariat, for information to the Council of Ministers, to the European Commission and to the EU Parliament.”
The Secretariat will perform the following activities:
• Support the work of the e-IRG Chair and the Executive Board by drafting agendas, meeting minutes, and related documents.
• Support the e-IRG delegates during their plenum by taking minutes of the delegates meetings.
• Compile a report on the activities of e-IRG to inform the Council of Ministers, the European Commission and the EU Parliament.
• Channelling requests for information or for information dissemination from the delegates or from external stakeholders.
• Maintain the content of the e-IRG website and maintain parts of the content of the wiki.
• Maintain contact information of e-IRG delegates, experts participating in e-IRG work and external stakeholders.
• Maintain mailing lists to support the dissemination activities.
• Support the internal activities of the support programme, e.g. by keeping minutes and action lists of the internal meetings.
• Support when needed all the support activities described above (organisation of e-IRG events, organisation of delegates meetings, preparation of White Papers, Roadmaps and Recommendations, support of Task Forces, support of dissemination activities and engagement with stakeholders).
Supporting the preparation of e-IRG publications
e-IRG has published several policy and reaction documents, as well as task force reports, and workshop reports. The e-IRG delegates determine the extent and content of this type of policy support activities. During their meetings the delegates decide about the scope of future White Papers, Blue Papers and Roadmaps, and the establishment of Task Forces to reflect on specific topics. Drafts of e-IRG documents are discussed and final documents are approved by the delegates.
During the transition from FP7 to Horizon 2020 several stakeholders of e-IRG produced visionary documents and the EC has requested comments during the consultation phase in preparation of Horizon 2020. e-IRG has produced a series of quick response documents. Due to the impact and the positive response to this kind of documents e-IRG will stick to this format in the future and produce more quick response documents. e-IRGSP3 was involved in the preparation of these documents and e-IRGSP4 will continue to support the creation and dissemination of these quick response documents.
All these policy documents are considered to be the main outputs of the e-IRG for policy makers and funding organisations, both at the national and the European level. e-IRG will continue to produce these policy documents on timely topics and is aiming to take up the quality and the impact of these documents. Their creation will not only require involvement from the delegates but more often also from external experts. The previous support projects have contributed resources to the support of the preparation of the previous documents. The e-IRGSP4 project will continue this effort.
Whereas e-IRG will be solely responsible for the content, e-IRGSP4 will manage the process and provide the necessary support from document start to publication.
In its Roadmaps e-IRG outlines its vision for the future of e-Infrastructures in Europe and beyond and principles for political, technological, and administrative frameworks to shape Europe’s e-Infrastructures are presented. The topics to be addressed in a Roadmap will be determined by the delegates. An editorial team, consisting of members of the e-IRGSP4 and lead by a delegate, will be responsible for the content of a Roadmap. The support activities for the Roadmap are similar to those for a White Paper, in short, planning and managing the process of creating a Roadmap.
Whereas an e-IRG Roadmap covers a more visionary time scale, the scope of the White Papers is to describe the short-term realisation of visions described in a Roadmap. The relevant topics are identified at the delegates meetings, which are partially based on the input received during the workshops. Generally, a delegate will be responsible for a well-defined part of the content of a White Paper. The support activities for the White Paper include:
• Planning the process for the preparation of a White Paper.
• Preparing, in collaboration with the delegates, a list of potential topics based on recent and expected developments.
• Presenting the list to the delegates who will select the topics to be addressed.
• Assisting the delegates responsible for a topic in contacting external experts and collecting relevant information.
• Collecting the technical background information to the selected topics.
• Responsible of the editing process of the White Paper.
• Managing the White Paper process, from its initiation until its publication.
The Blue Paper is a new form of publication in e-IRG used at the first time while producing recommendation on Data Management for a special group of projects accumulated under ESFRI umbrella, the key projects of European strategy research infrastructure.
The term is used as a means of distinguishing between policy and procedure papers (white papers) and those papers outlining only technical specifications and descriptions of new technologies or particular pieces of equipment. The first Blue Paper was tackling the technical recommendations from e-IRG towards ESFRI and did not include any policy statements.
To prepare a blue paper, one must first collect every technical aspect of a new technology (e.g. what it is, how it is useful, what its potential implications are,.) or the technical specifications of a new technology (components, features, uses, etc.).
The Blue Paper will be used in all aspects where the e-IRG is trying to make a first study of a new approach. Usually the Blue Papers will be followed by White Paper, which will work out more general recommendations.
The support activities for the Blue Paper include:
• Planning the process for the preparation of a Blue Paper
• Preparing, in collaboration with the delegates, a list of potential topics based on recent and expected developments
• Analysis of the technologies referenced by the Blue Paper, as initial work done by the support project
• Establishing a working group of the e-IRG delegates, external experts and support project members
• Collecting the technical background information to the selected topics
• Compiling the initial draft version of the report
• Managing the process of collecting all remarks and confirmations from e-IRG
• Presenting the outcome at the delegates meetings
• Releasing the Blue Paper.
It is possible to adopt the specific steps mentioned above according to the needs of the current situation.
e-IRG publishes documents in which the recommendations from different policy documents are presented in a condensed form. These Recommendations provide the excerpt from larger policy documents sorted by the different stakeholders of e-IRG. Recommendations are distilled and endorsed through a consensus driven procedure. They can be the result of the findings in a White Paper or a Roadmap but also the conclusion of a policy discussion in a delegates meeting or the outcome from a Task Force report.
The support activities for Recommendations will enable the consensus process. Again the activities consist of the Recommendations’ process planning and management. They include:
• Collecting from the White Paper editors, Roadmap editors, or delegates candidate recommendations.
• Collecting technical background information.
• Sort the recommendations by stakeholders.
• Distributing these recommendations, after approval from the e-IRG Board, to the delegates for comments and managing the consultation process.
• Processing the comments together with the delegates involved.
• Distributing the new candidate recommendations to the delegates for discussion and eventually endorsement at the delegates meeting.
• Publishing the Recommendations.
During the last two years the interest in and the perception of the e-IRG workshops have still increased, which results in a growing participation and ascending interest in the published workshop reports. To satisfy this growing interest e-IRGSP4 will take up the task from the previous support programme and continue to produce these workshop reports.
Supporting the work of e-IRG Task Forces
The e-IRG regularly installs Task Forces to deal extensively with specific thematic issues. These Task Forces operate under the responsibility of a delegate and may include external participants that are experts in the theme under study. The e-IRGSP4 project will support the work of these Task Forces. The support activities will consist of the logistic support (planning, contacting experts, monitoring and printing) but will also include content related support (collecting information, contributing to the report).
Foster the collaboration between national and pan-European e-Infrastructure and research infrastructure initiatives and stakeholders.
To strengthen the collaboration between national and pan-European e-Infrastructure initiatives and stakeholders, e-IRGSP4 will support the organization of dedicated workshop and workshop tracks, which will bring together the different initiatives and stakeholders. These workshops and workshop tracks will provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and positions about the implementation and the evaluation of e-Infrastructures and will be the foundation for collaboration on the topics addressed by the ERA communication.
Furthermore the collaborative workshops will be used to elaborate on a common vision across all European research infrastructures requirements and needs of their users. Another focus will be on the “data challenge”; although some data infrastructures initiatives and organisations exist a more detailed examination would be desirable and thus will be addressed during the workshops.
Dissemination of the outcome of e-IRG
The dissemination activities will ensure that the outcome of the e-IRG, like policy and reaction documents, task force reports, and workshop reports and also more general information about the work of the e-IRG, are distributed to the proper stakeholders and to the larger e-infrastructure community as well. In this way the dissemination activities will augment the visibility of the e-IRG thus creating or improving the awareness on its work.
The support activities for the dissemination workpackage can be separated into five categories:
• Take care about the outcome of the e-IRG (policy documents, reaction documents)
o Assist with the final preparation (e.g. layout) of the e-IRG policy documents. Distributing these publications to targeted stakeholders.
o Updating the existing printed information material about the e-IRG for the general public (poster, flyer, brochure etc.) and creating when required new material targeted to specific stakeholder groups identified by the e-IRG delegates.
o Distributing publications and information material either to targeted stakeholders (e.g. to the EC, national governments, e-infrastructures organisations), to the participants of the e-IRG events and to the public at large (e.g. at major conferences).
• Creation and distribution of workshop reports
• Create and distribute the e-IRG newsletter and press releases
• Support of social media activities (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Wikipedia)
• Maintenance of the web presence of the e-IRG and the support programme
o Preparing web versions of the e-IRG publications and the information material and including these in the e-IRG website content.
The project will plan activities adequately resourced devoted to dissemination for specialised constituencies and general public, in particular for awareness and educational purposes. The dissemination plan deliverable will consider adequate messages about the objectives of the project and its societal and economic impact. The tools to be used will include web-based communication, press releases, brochures, booklets, multimedia material, etc. The 'dissemination material' will be regularly updated to provide the latest version of the project status and objectives. Electronic and/or paper versions of this 'dissemination material' will be made available to the Project Officer beforehand for consultation and upon its final release.
The project will properly acknowledge the EC source funding in all dissemination activities.
Support in engagement with stakeholders
The liaison activities carried out by the e-IRGSP4 project are directed at facilitating for the delegates the establishment of active links and contacts with organisations and persons of (future) importance for the e-IRG. The same holds at the support level for the e-IRGSP4 participants. In this case the main goal is establishing operational dissemination collaborations with other projects in order to to increase the visibility of the e-IRG in international policy organisations and initiatives as well as to assure exchange of information about developments that are of interest for the e-IRG community.
The project will actively participate in the concertation activities and meetings related with the e-Infrastructures area. The objective is to optimise synergies between projects by providing input and receiving feedback from working groups addressing activities of common interest (e.g. from clusters and projects). Projects may offer advice and guidance and receiving information relating to Horizon 2020 Framework programme implementation, standardisation, policy and regulatory, EU Member States initiatives or relevant international initiative.