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EGEE Project Specific

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What is EGEE?

Enabling Grids for E-sciencE is an international project that supports scientific research. The project integrates national, regional and thematic grid computing sites in a seamless computing infrastructure to allow global secure access to processing power, data, software and data storage.

EGEE ’s infrastructure is used by distributed research communities, which share common grid computing needs, are willing to integrate their own computing resources and agree on common access policies.

Mostly funded by European Union funding agencies, this project has a world-wide mission and receives important contributions from the United States, Australia, Taiwan and other non-EU partners.

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What scientific disciplines benefit from EGEE?

Any discipline relying on advanced scientific computing resources can benefit. Currently, the most advanced grid users are researchers in experimental physics and life sciences. People also use it for applications in earth science, business, the humanities and entertainment.
The grid is part of CERN’s search for the Higgs Boson, the elusive particle expected to be the carrier of the gravitational force. EGEE’s computing power contributes to the worldwide grid system that is responsible for handling the data generated by the Large Hadron Collider – the world’s most powerful particle accelerator – in its search for the Higgs Boson. The LHC will produce an expected 15 million gigabites of data every year, enough information to create a 21 kilometre high stack of CDs annually. The LHC Computing Grid, of which EGEE is a fundamental part, will capture and organise this data.

The biomedical communities are facing equally daunting data challenges. EGEE supports applications in many life sciences, including tools to speed up processing and analysis of digital medical images – such as virtual biopsies’ that avoid invasive surgery – to screen for disease, model molecular shape, protein folding, DNA binding and to sequence genomes.

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How can new scientific communities gain access to EGEE?

How does an individual or a community gain access to the e-Infrastructure provided by EGEE? Primarily, what are the processes that they need to follow, and the criteria that will be applied to their requests for resources?

Within EGEE, user communities are grouped on the basis of Virtual Organisations or Vos—research collaborations that are often geographically distributed, but connected technologically. An individual can only use resources if they are a member of a Virtual Organisation. It is the VO that is enabled to use a resource, though restrictions can be placed on which individuals, groups or roles within a VO can access a resource. Resources are hosted by the appropriately named Resource Centres. VOs may be enabled on some resources at a Resource Centres, but not all. It is expected that a VO will bring resources from its own community and join these to the EGEE infrastructure, thus increasing the total pool of resources available. Resource Centres and regions are encouraged to allocate a small percentage of their resources to new VOs to help boost starting communities onto the e-Infrastructure.

For more information visit the User Support Section.

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What is the timeframe for the EGEE project?

EGEE-III is a two-year project that began on 1 May 2008. Enabling Grids for E-sciencE (EGEE) is Europe’s leading grid computing project, providing a computing support infrastructure for over 10,000 researchers world-wide, from fields as diverse as high energy physics, earth and life sciences.

In 2009 EGEE is focused on transitioning to a sustainable operational model, while maintaining reliable services for its users. The resources currently coordinated by EGEE will be managed through the European Grid Initiative (EGI) as of 2010. In EGI each country’s grid infrastructure will be run by National Grid Initiatives. The adoption of this model will enable the next leap forward in research infrastructures to support collaborative scientific discoveries. EGI will ensure abundant, high-quality computing support for the European and global research community for many years to come.

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What are the success criteria of the EGEE project?

The EGEE project brings together experts from more than 50 countries with the common aim of building on recent advances in grid technology and developing a service grid infrastructure which is available to scientists 24 hours-a-day.

The project provides researchers in academia and business with access to a production level grid infrastructure, independent of their geographic location. The EGEE project also focuses on attracting a wide range of new users to the Grid.

The project's main focus is:

To expand and optimise Europe's largest production grid infrastructure, namely EGEE, by continuous operation of the infrastructure, support for more user communities, and addition of further computational and data resources.

To prepare the migration of the existing production European grid from a project-based model to a sustainable federated infrastructure based on National Grid Initiatives for multi-disciplinary use.

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Who is behind EGEE?

The EGEE consortium consists of 42 beneficiaries, both academic and business. All EC co-funded countries have grouped their academic partners on a national level via Joint Research Units or National Grid Initiatives so that the 42 beneficiaries represent a total of more than 120 partners. This has a structuring effect on the grid communities across the European Research Area and is an important milestone for the planning of a sustainable grid infrastructure model. Beneficiaries are organised in regional federations, covering:

Asia Pacific (Australia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan)
Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands)
Central Europe (Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia)
Nordic countries (Finland, Sweden, Norway)
South East Europe (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Romania, Serbia, Turkey)
South West Europe (Portugal, Spain)
United Kingdom/Ireland

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What is the relationship of EGEE to existing Grids and research networks?

The EGEE infrastructure is built on the EU Research Network GEANT2 and exploits grid expertise that has been generated by projects such as the EU DataGrid project, other EU supported grid projects and the national grid initiatives such as UK e-Science, INFN Grid, Nordugrid and US Trillium. The infrastructure provides interoperability with other Grids around the globe, including the US and Asia, contributing to efforts to establish a worldwide Grid infrastructure.

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How is industry involved?

EGEE's Business Forum reaches out to private and public sector organisations that are looking at grid for their innovation. The Forum interacts with current and new users, highlighting the benefits of grid through user case studies and evaluating adoption potential across diverse vertical markets.

The Business Forum leader, Trust-IT Services Ltd, engages with Business Forum Members, Business Associates, adopters from the Business Task Force and grid adoption experts to pinpoint new opportunities for adoption and training, and understand how experts within and outside the project can assist in clearing any technical and non-technical hurdles.

Additionally, the Business Forum interacts closely with Technology Transfer Offices. Targeted activities include:

  • Promoting the concept of Knowledge Transfer, whereby knowledge generated by research can be applied to areas of life where it can make a difference.
  • Connecting scientists from EGEE with companies and researchers to foster opportunities for collaborative development and opportunities for Knowledge Transfer.

For specific special interests or to just find out more about the EGEE Business Forum contact Trust-IT.

Register as a Business Forum Member here

Download the Business Forum Newsletters here

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How many computing nodes does EGEE have?

Around 14,000 CPUs are available to users 24/7. For more facts and figures about EGEE, see the "EGEE in numbers" section.

To find out the latest results from the EGEE project and to see the grid working in real time on the Real Time Monitor, visit the "Results" page.