History of EUMED

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Evolution of EUMEDGRID

Co-Funded by the European Commission in the framework of FP6, the EUMEDGRID project started on January 2006, with the aim of supporting the development of a Grid e-Infrastructure in the Mediterranean Area and promoting the porting of new applications on the Grid platform, thus allowing Mediterranean scientist to collaborate more closely with their European colleagues.

EUMEDGRID disseminated Grid awareness and competences across the Mediterranean and triggered the creation of National Grid Initiatives in the participant countries. During the project lifetime, more than 700 IT professionals, researchers and students were inducted to the use of Grid computing and had the opportunity to benefit of advanced training enabling them to exploit infrastructure.

The Project lasted for 26 months, creating a widespread network of collaboration and making a considerable step forward in promoting the uptake and long-term sustainability of Grid technology in the Region at the end of the project, the pilot grid infrastructure included 25 sites distributed across 13 countries, with all relevant grid services up and running. Athough the project officially ended on 29 February 2008, this infrastructure is currently being maintained on a best-effort basis by the project consortium, who plan further activities in the field.

Further information about the project works and achievements can be found in the project deliverables and other documents (http://www.eumedgrid.org/deliverable.html). If you are interested in further e-Infrastructure initiative in the Mediterranean region, please contact us.

Pilot Grid Infrastructure

The EUMEDGRID project facilitated a number of improvements at the technological level and fostered the know-how of networking and computing professionals across the Mediterranean. The resulting pilot grid infrastructure for research in the Mediterranean region opened up important opportunities to optimize the usage of existing, limited storage and computing resources, improve accessibility and empower research groups from several domains.

At the end of the project, the pilot grid infrastructure included 25 sites distributed across 13 countries, with all relevant grid services up and running. Although the project officially ended on 29 February 2008, this infrastructure is currently being maintained on a best-effort basis by the project consortium, who plan further activities in the field.

Countries comprise Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Malta, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, and Turkey. A set of pilot applications of regional interest, cover several application domains include: Archaeology, Hydrology, Physics, Biology, Engineering, Robotics and Cognitive Sciences. Each were deployed on the EUMEDGRID infrastructure.

EUMEDGRID acted as a trigger towards supporting the creation of National Grid Initiatives for the creation of e-Infrastructures in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia (while others are at a planning stage in neighbouring countries).

Sustaining the European and Mediterranean countries

Many research fields have very demanding needs in terms of computing power and storage capacity, which normally are provided by large computing systems or supercompuitng centres. Furthermore, sophisticated instruments may be needed to perform specific studies. Such resources pose different challenges to developing economies: they are expensive, they need to be geographically located in a specific place and they cannot attract a critical mass of users because they are usually very specific and are relevant only for small communities of researchers scattered across the country/region.

However, thanks to the creation of global virtual research communities and distributed e-Infrastructure environments, all these drawbacks can be overcome: through an appropriate access policy, different user groups can use resources wherever dispersed, according to their availability.

The EUMEDGRID project was conceived in this perspective and has set up a pilot Grid infrastructure for research in the Mediterranean region which is interoperable and compatible with that of EGEE project and related initiatives. The EUMEDGRID's vision focused on improving both the technological level and the know-how of networking and computing professionals across the Mediterranean thus fostering the introduction of an effective Mediterranean Grid infrastructure for the benefits of e-Science.

The EUMEDGRID achievements can be categorised into two main areas:

  1. A softer action: creating a human network in e-Science across the Mediterranean,
  2. Addressing technical issues supporting the implementation of a pilot Grid infrastructure and gridified applications in the area.

Impact of EUMEDGRID

  • Cooperation among all the participants has been demostrated by the enthusiastic participation to common workshops and meetings organised during the lifetime of EUMEDGRID and the success obtained fostering the creation of National Grid Initiatives and national Certification Authorities (CAs);
  • A large community, including system administrators, researchers, and final users, was involved with good results in terms of number of participants (more than 700 individuals) and feedback obtained through dedicated questionnaires;
  • A pilot grid infrastructure, composed by 25 sites in 13 countries, was set up during the project;
  • Several applications have been accomodated on the EUMEDGRID e-Infrastructure spanning from High Energy Physics, Biology and Biomedicine, Hydrology, Archaeology, Seismology and Vulcanology;
  • The increased awareness on e-Infrastructures and Grids at the highest political level thanks to the organisation of a successful policy event in Brussels (The First EU-MED event), the production of a booklet "e-Infrastructures across the Mediterranean" in collaboration with EUMEDCONNECT and GEANT/TERENA, distributed to in the folder of the EUROMED Ministerial Meeting in Cairo in February 2008 and the citation of grid infrastructures in the declaration made by the Ministers in that meeting.

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