The challenges posed by data-driven science and research are diverse and play a significant role in the Austrian, European and international research landscape. Digitalisation occurring within and emanating from science and research has the potential to change the research landscape, not just in Austria but throughout Europe.
The many digitalisation activities give Austrian and European researchers access to first-rate European digital services and to capacities for computing, storage and analysis. This, in turn, facilitates the open exchange of data and services and creates a reliable and open environment where the scientific community can store, exchange and re-use scientific data and results. Maintaining legal certainty and the ethical aspects associated with it is a focal point of these efforts.
With the aid of an open and secure virtual environment, scientific data is stored, managed and analysed. This sector is now seeing the emergence of a data infrastructure that is often also referred to as the Internet of scientific data services (Internet of FAIR Data and Services or European Open Science Cloud). To move this process forward, existing e-infrastructures are being merged on a cross-border and interdisciplinary basis and upgraded to top standards.
The goal is to create a virtual environment in which Europe’s 1.7 million researchers and 70 million skilled personnel in science and technology can store, exchange and re-use their data across borders and specialised fields. This build-up of a digital European knowledge infrastructure takes into account and integrates already existing initiatives in a decentralised approach.
Activities involving high-performance computing, digital research infrastructures and the much-cited European Open Science Cloud (EOSC for short) play a central part in this process.
High-performance computing (HPC) is a sub-area of electronic computing technology that entails scientific and engineering tasks so computationally demanding that the calculations cannot be conducted with run-of-the-mill, all-purpose computers. The systems used in HPC are often referred to as supercomputers.
EuroHPC, PRACE and similar EU initiatives enable the joint procurement and operation of new high-performance computers, giving all Member States additional access to supercomputers performing on a par with the best systems in the world. In future, these computing systems will be embedded in a Europe-wide infrastructure and will be available to science, industrial research and the public sector independent of their location. The increased availability and accessibility of top HPC resources is also intended to encourage the users to keep their activities and data in Europe so that a critical mass of expertise and personnel remains in the Member States, including Austria.
Department V/3a – Technical Sciences
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- Austrian Academic Computer Network (ACOnet)
- European Open Science Cloud (EOSC); Programme
- The European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking – EuroHPC
- FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship
- Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe (PRACE)
- European e-Infrastructures and connected services
- e-Infrastructures Austria Plus
- AUSSDA – The Austrian Social Science Data Archive
- Vienna Scientific Cluster
- Research Data Alliance
- The MACH-2 supercomputer