The Blue-Cloud model, with its 16 services and million datasets openly available, was discussed during a dedicated session organised on the 17th of November at the EOSC Symposium, the main annual event of the European Open Science community taking place this week in Prague, Czech Republic.

Back in 2016, the European Commission launched the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) to provide a virtual environment with open and seamless access to services for storage, management, analysis and re-use of research data, across borders and disciplines. Blue-Cloud, as the 'Future of Seas and Oceans Flagship Initiative’ of EU HORIZON 2020 programme, is introducing a “de facto” federation taking place at 3 levels: the data, the computing resources and the analytical services.

About the Blue-Cloud Data Federation model

At the level of data, Blue-Cloud developed the Data Discovery and Access Service, which is a search engine that facilitates discovery and retrieval of data sets and data products from multiple Blue Data Infrastructures.  Circa 25.000 entries are indexed at the level of data collections, while using additional search criteria specific per each data infrastructure, users can access more than 10 million data sets from a wide variety of disciplines (physics, biology, geology, bathymetry, chemistry). At the level of the computing resources, Blue-Cloud developed the Blue-Cloud Virtual Research Environment facilitating access and orchestration of computing and analytical services for constructing, hosting and operating Virtual Labs for specific applications. And at the level of the services, Blue-Cloud released five Virtual Labs, configured with specific analytical workflows and serving as real-life Demonstrators in biodiversity, environmental science, fisheries and aquaculture, which can be adopted and adapted for other inputs and analyses. We are delighted that already this November 2022, we have 16 services currently available from the EOSC marketplace provided by Blue-Cloud.

Purpose of the session

What should a data federation look like? What are the financial models laying behind the marine data that researchers access and use for their applications and experiments? What recommendations can we give to funders as well as to the private sector towards sustainability of Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable data in the long run?  These aspects and more were at the heart of the session hosted by Sara Pittonet Gaiarin, Blue-Cloud Coordinator, on Thursday 17th and moderated by Jessica Klemeier, EMBL and member of the EOSC Sustainability Task Force. Anton Ellenbroek, FAO of the UN, Knowledge and Information Management Team of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Division, Karl Presser, Managing Partner at Premotec GmbH and FNS-Cloud H2020 representative and Alessandro Rizzo, IRD and FAIR-EASE project representative, joined the session and helped contextualising the Blue-Cloud best practice within a European and even international framework.

Check the event on the EOSC Symposium website

What’s coming next

On the 8th of December, Blue-Cloud stakeholders will gather in Brussels for our final conference in the beautiful Residence Palace, gathering representatives from the European Parliament SEArica Intergroup, the European Commission DG RTD, the EOSC governance and the EU DTO initiatives. Blue-Cloud is also one of the data providers involved in the Ocean Hackathon 2022, that is taking place in 13 cities worldwide from 2 to 4 December 2022.