Services for the European Open Science Cloud

EOSC-Hub Key Exploitable Results

The EOSC hub project aims to create a hub of service providers to accelerate data-driven research in Europe. The project started on January 2018 and a lot of work has been done in order to reach this ambitious goal.

Nine Key Exploitable Results (KER) have been produced and they are described below. 

KER 1. EOSC Portal and Marketplace

Type: Software and services, Policies and procedures for service management

Short description

The EOSC Portal and Marketplace - that have developed into joint efforts with EOSC Enhance project - support the service discovery and access in EOSC. As described in the 2019 EOSC Portal collaboration agreement (concluded in 2019 with the representatives of the EOSC-hub, OpenAIRE-Advance and eInfraCentral project consortia)  this KER includes: “technical components, intangible assets and contractual arrangements that make it possible to provide the service that facilitates the access and use of the EOSC assets. The contractual arrangements include - but are not limited to - the rights to administer the IP addresses and IT infrastructure making accessing the EOSC portal possible.

Key benefits for EOSC

Thanks to this KER, it will be possible to operate a scalable and well-managed EOSC portal and marketplace with a growing service portfolio and with a transparent governance model. From the researcher point of view, the benefits include the ability to:

  • Discover and compare multiple resources and services such as scientific outputs, applications, data management, compute services and thematic services;
  • Access services and resources using a common authentication/authorisation process;
  • Pick up on best practices and practical examples featuring research communities making the most of EOSC;
  • Provide feedback about services and information to contribute to building the EOSC service portfolio.

From the service provider point of view, the benefits are based on the ability to:

  • Publish, share and advertise services and resources to a wider user base;
  • Get statistics about access requests and customer feedback;
  • Get a free online platform where providers can manage service requests, interact with users and provide support to them, and agree the most suitable service levels;
  • Allow users to authenticate with existing credentials to access services;
  • Demonstrate that the services meet EOSC quality standards.

The importance of the EOSC portal as the primary, Pan-European entry point to the EOSC ecosystem is going to grow dramatically as the scope of the EOSC services grows. Naturally, this activity does not preclude the reuse of the portal components by third parties. In fact, the anticipated growth of volume and diversity of use of the components is likely to speed up the maturing process of future versions considerably.

 

Relevant EOSC-hub deliverables & milestones

D2.6 First Service roadmap, service portfolio and service catalogue - M12 - 31 Dec 2018

KER 2. EOSC Service Management System (SMS)

Type: Policies and procedures for service management

Short description

EOSC hub project defines and implements the EOSC IT service management system (ITSM), i.e. the activities performed by service provider to plan, deliver, operate and control services offered to customers. These activities are directed by policies and are structured and organised by processes and procedures.

EOSC hub implements best practices based on the lightweight standard, FitSM, regarding the service planning, delivery, operation and control of the services in the service catalogue.

The scope of the Service Management System is primarily all services contributing to creation and delivery of the hub. The hub is a set of services essential to provide the core functionality for EOSC like: helpdesk, monitoring, accounting, order management etc.   

Key benefits for EOSC

The key benefits of the SMS are:

  • To ensure robust and resilient service delivery of services within the hub to the EOSC federated infrastructure;
  • To facilitate communication between customer and providers by introducing single point of contact (helpdesk, marketplace etc.);
  • To disseminate and share service delivery best practices among providers;
  • To facilitate alignment of service management activities of all of the service providers, supporting different levels of integration with the centralised services;
  • To integrate the services provided by the different providers into the common marketplace and monitoring frameworks in a way that provides value for EOSC.

 

KER 3. EOSC Rules of Participation (RoP)

Type: Policies and procedures for service management

Short description

A comprehensive and coherent set of rules and policies for service providers to onboard services and make them discoverable and accessible through the EOSC Portal.

Key benefits for EOSC

  • RoP make it as easy as possible to bring new service providers into the EOSC ecosystem while ensuring the quality and compliance of the overall services and building and maintaining the trust of the users and user communities.
KER 4. Internal Services in the Hub Portfolio

Type: Software and services

Short description

The Internal Services provide basic enabling services for EOSC access and operation, such as access control or accounting, and offer common and standard interfaces to shared tools for basic services that need to be aligned in order to provide consistent user experiences. Internal services in the Hub Portfolio are one of the key elements of the EOSC federating core.

Key benefits for EOSC

This common toolset enables the integration of services into the EOSC ecosystem. This is a prerequisite for the function of the hub as a federating core, as a mature implementation of the tools will streamline the processes of the EOSC Hub Operators. For the service providers, the KER provides tools to access several user communities through the Hub by integrating their services into a single service interface (instead of several community-specific ones). The common services are targeting adoption by the permanent EOSC services and their importance will be increased by the growth of the number of users and the value delivered through EOSC. The reuse of individual components by third parties is also encouraged.

KER 5. External Services in the EOSC Service Portfolio

Type: Software and services

Short description

EOSC provides a "one-stop-shop" for a range of services and solutions to speed up the research process of the disciplines and enable cross-disciplinary collaboration and reuse of tools and results. It encourages the sharing of the research tools and data between different research groups - also across disciplines. The services in the EOSC Service Portfolio have different application areas and sustainability models. However, independently of the details of the approaches, the EOSC Service Portfolio will support them by making the discovery of the services easier and reducing the effort needed to adopt them. Together with the EOSC Portal and Service Management System, the KER provides an intuitive, comprehensive and robust set of services to researchers.

Key benefits for EOSC

As the number of research activities and groups supported by EOSC grows, the possibility to easily search, request and re-use research services will become more and more important. Consistent metadata will be crucial for efficient service discovery (either by the researchers themselves or in collaboration with different helpdesk services). Providing an intuitive interface to the service lifecycle information will be of equal importance, especially when considering the long-term repeatability of EOSC-supported research.

KER 6. EOSC Digital Innovation Hub (DIH): Platform for Industrial collaborations with EOSC

Type: Software and services, business models

Short description

EOSC DIH provides a clear interface for commercial innovation that can be supported by EOSC as part of the broader European Digital Innovation Hub landscape (such as free access trials). It is a multi-dimensional mechanism that allows research e-Infrastructures to support business organisations to stimulate innovation, as well as helping start-ups, SMEs, and other innovative actors to tap into the academic world both in accessing knowledge as well as technical services. The final goal is to create a one-stop-shop that brings IT services, research data, technology and expertise into a single place to support innovation in the industry. EOSC DIH offers several public-private collaboration models around piloting and co-design of new services (proof-of-concept work, performance testing, etc.), technical access to different “as a Service” resources (HPC/HTC/Cloud computing, storage, data management and higher-level services), training and support (Technical consultancy, service management, commercialisation) and visibility, using the DIH as a networking tool to expand beyond local markets.

Key benefits for EOSC

EOSC DIH allows to lower initial investment (time and effort) for identifying/accessing services and developing/testing new products and services as well as increasing visibility and networking opportunities on a European level. It will be continued as an activity in the context of EOSC and the wider network of digital innovation hubs. In the long-run, it can provide a formalisation of the knowledge and expertise into procedure descriptions, standardised consulting offerings or certification schemes.

KER 7. Business and sustainability models for services and the Hub

Type: Business models, documents and reports

Short description

The Business and Sustainability models are crucial for long-term planning of EOSC. In addition to grounding the discussions about finances, they also provide foundations for ensuring the trust of users and user communities on the continued delivery of services. The project will provide a definition for the planned “EOSC Federating Core”, including a cost assessment and a business plan. The project will also analyse a number of procurement and service delivery models that are applicable to different EOSC scenarios. The analysis will include considerations related to cross-border and -sectoral VAT compliance.

Key benefits for EOSC

Clear and intuitive business models will increase flexibility, lower barriers of entry and reduce compliance costs in service provision and consumption by the EOSC stakeholders, and will thus be important inputs to EOSC sustainability planning. EOSC-Hub will promote the results included in this KER to relevant EOSC policy bodies, in particular to the EOSC Sustainability Working Group.

KER 8. Interoperability and Integration guidelines

Type: Technical specifications, policies and procedures for FAIR data management and security, documents and reports

Short description

Interoperability and Integration guidelines, defining the high-level architecture for basic EOSC technical functions and promoting EOSC standards and APIs, will facilitate access to services, lower barriers to integrating and composing services and promotes the usage of services between adjacent communities.

Key benefits for EOSC

EOSC services ‘compliant’ with the interoperability and integration guidelines will offer well-established and documented interfaces for usage and integration, based on well-known standard or APIs, facilitating (1) their exploitation from user communities willing to create new scientific services that could rely on well-established and documented interfaces for the integration (e.g. a community creates a new scientific workflow reusing EOSC federation and common services, like AAI, accounting, etc.) and (2) the combined usage of EOSC services, indeed the adoption of well-known standards and interfaces will very-likely reduce the cost to integrate services (e.g. two accounting infrastructures can be made easily interoperable if they use the same standard usage record format, in such case accounting data extracted from them can be merged and presented in a unique view). As a consequence, less mature or small scientific communities can leverage on EOSC services for a series of IT functions and focus on their scientific work, access to scientific services will be open to new communities thanks to the documented interfaces and new scientific workflows can be created combining existing applications.

KER 9. Training courses and material

Type: Documents and reports

Short description

The training courses and material encompass a large variety of project results. They range all the way from common and federated services for supporting the whole research life cycle, domain-specific training to target the needs of data providers and data scientists and advanced training on higher-level compo-sable and PaaS services to consultancy building on training events (such as workshops focused on applying the FitSM standard in the specific circumstances in the client organisations, or helping research communities to develop a sound Data Management Plans) aiming to stimulate the knowledge transfer, foster the use of digital infrastructures and promote the uptake of Open Science paradigm. The sound training programme delivered by the project aimed to stimulate the establishment of a “knowledge network” of expertise and help researchers from different scientific disciplines to better integrate advanced digital services, tools and data to achieve excellence in science, research and innovation.

Training services are tailored to optimally fit the requirements of the diverse audience EOSC needs to reach, ranging from service providers who e.g. might benefit from technical assistance on using, integrating and providing services in EOSC to individual researchers possibly encountering the e-Infrastructures for the first time, enabling a smooth integration into EOSC ecosystem and maximising the benefits.

In terms of topics, the training courses and material cover all of the other KERs as well as most of the individual project results. Curation of this material by linking the training activity closely with the other developments of the project is this a critical part of the project’s outreach activities.

Key benefits for EOSC

Training and support activities will play a key role in creating awareness of services and resources, augmenting skills and adapting organisational practices needed as prerequisites of full participation in the EOSC ecosystem. In the long run, the demand for training and related services will increase dramatically through the extension of the user base beyond the initial group of early adopters.  Synergies and collaborations with other EOSC-related projects will contribute to keeping the training strategy more focused. These activities complement training efforts of collaborating projects like OpenAIRE-Advance and FAIRsFAIR that look into the ‘Open-ing’ and into the ‘FAIR-ification’ of science, and the efforts of EOSC Enhance from early 2020 to pull together fundamental training on EOSC. Furthermore, the continuous involvement in the EOSC-wide Training Coordinators’ Community of Practice will ensure that the lessons learned and best practices developed in the EOSC-hub training context will be available in the broader EOSC landscape.