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Work Package 5: Interoperability of RIs, Access, Data Sharing


Standardisation / harmonisation of data curation, common approaches, ready-to-use structures and services In this respect, WP5 “Interoperability of RIs, Access and Data Sharing” under the leadership of SAEON will report on requirements and design considerations for an interoperable data portal (Deliverable 5.1) and give guidance on data policies and supporting open licenses (Deliverable 5.2).

It is hoped to develop a strategy applicable to a series of RIs based on the well-established data and service policies and access of SAEON and ICOS-ERIC, a data infrastructure that is, however, flexible and versatile enough to handle new forms of data and adapt to changes in circumstances, leading to optimal circulation, access, and transfer of scientific knowledge to academia as well as stakeholders and users.

The efficiency and performance of research will be improved thanks to more accessible services provided by different RIs. In this respect, WP5 “Interoperability of RIs, Access and Data Sharing” under the lead of SAEON will provide a roadmap report with the blueprint for a EU-African e-infrastructure (Deliverable 5.4). In addition, it will implement and collect experiences with a prototype African e-Infrastructure, including a Brokering Registry and delivery of a roadmap to common EU-African e-infrastructures (Deliverable 5.5).


  • Defining requirements and perspectives for interoperable research infrastructures
  • Promoting and establishing open access data policies between European and African RIs
  • Developing a roadmap to common EU-African e-infrastructures
  • Establishing links with GEO/AfriGEOSS and its data portal
  • Facilitating capacity building focusing on preparing data for sharing


Task 5.1 Requirements gathering (Lead partner: ICOS ERIC, contributions from SAEON and SASSCAL) Interoperability is a clear common goal for all research infrastructures. In Europe the ENVRI plus project is working in Theme 2 on establishing this for 19 environmental RI’s. SAEON has long experience in developing data portals that ensure interoperability. Key aspects for interoperability are open access, following (developing) standards and collecting metadata using controlled vocabularies. Machine to machine (meta-)data exchange will become increasingly important and for this open linked data and ontologies are powerful instruments. However, to be useful and applicable these general principles have to be translated into specific requirements, for this all requirements will be gathered in this task. SASSCAL has a network of institutions and scientists across 5 countries making research data available in a harmonised portal through their Open Access Data Centre – experience that can be applied here.

Task 5.2: Promoting open access policies and licenses (Lead partner: SAEON, contributions from ICOS ERIC) Through a set of workshops the existing data access policies will be discussed and compared with open data policies (licenses?) such as Creative Commons. These workshops will take the key results from Task 1.4 into account and specifically address the requirements by both data providers and users. Involvement of stakeholders in creating awareness of the issues involved and to allow for decision making towards open data access policies is essential. There exists a need for development or adaptation of machine-readable licenses that are not open and reflect restrictions based on ethics, privacy, conservation, or intellectual property considerations.

Task 5.3: Roadmap for a common EU-African e-infrastructure (Lead partner: SAEON, contributions from ICOS ERIC, LU and SASSCAL) Using the requirements gathered in task 5.1 we will identify the gaps and opportunities for a common e-infrastructure that supports a common research infrastructure. SAEON will develop for this a brokering registry through which involved parties can offer standards compliant services (clients - such as discovery, visualisation, processing, analysis or query tools - and data or meta-data sources) within an infrastructure. SASSCAL can contribute experience of such infrastructure in the region. In cases where there are deviations from the standard, mediation actions and mappings should also be accommodated. This brokering framework and its operational implementation directly contribute to the goal in respect of improved interoperability, but we will also be able to document our approach and contribute to the proposed roadmap.

Task 5.4: Linking to GEO/AfriGEOSS (Lead partner: ICOS ERIC, contributions from LU and SAEON. SAEON has existing linkages to the GEOSS Broker that will be reaffirmed and tested for a wider community of African data providers. SAEON will be able to provide infrastructure (hardware and software) for AfriGEOSS related initiatives. Capacity for support and community engagement will have to be obtained from external resources, and training and capacity building can be provided by the project under the auspices of AfriGEOSS.

Task 5.5: Capacity building with focus on facilitating data for sharing (Lead partner: NORCE, contribution from LU and UIB) A workshop will be organised where students, technicians, and researchers will be trained in the field of analytical physical and chemical oceanography, with the aim of collecting and preparing datasets for sharing. The teachers will be skilled persons from Norway and Sudan with long experience in field and laboratory work and with experience from a long lasting north-south cooperation between Bergen and Port Sudan. The sampling site will be within a fjord system off Bergen. The participants will be from the African countries neighboring the Red Sea (e.g. Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, and Somalia), and the training will be facilitated and held at UIB in Norway. 


D5.1 Requirements and design considerations for an interoperable data portal

D5.2 Guidance on Data Policy and Supporting Open Licenses

D5.3 Training schools with focus on preparing data for sharing (M14 and M26)

D5.4 Roadmap report with the blueprint for a EU-African e-infrastructure

D5.5 Prototype Implementation of African e-Infrastructure, including a Brokering Registry

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