Strategies for Open and Permanent Access to Scientific Information in Latin America: Focus on Health and Environmental Information for Sustainable Development

e-Infrastructures: the European Perspective on Scientific Data

Carlos Morais Pires, Krystyna Marek, Mario Campolargo

INFSO Directorate F, Unit F3 - GÉANT & e-Infrastructure


Research and scientific development are crucial enablers for a competitive European Society and Economy and pre-condition for innovation based on information and knowledge transfer. To understand why these are crucial enablers, it is essential to reach common views on the importance of data, information, and knowledge to boost scientific excellence in Europe. Our presentation will explain the steps taken at European level to empower research using ICT based infrastructures for scientific information. In particular we will address the planned activities of the 7th European programme for Research and development (programme Capacities/e-Infrastructures).

New frontiers offered by ICT to boost scientific excellence

New technologies open new frontiers to high speed communication, data storage capacity, distribution and sharing of resources and high-performance computation. The full 'life-cycle of science', from data acquisition to modelling and development of technology is heavily influenced by the availability of new technologies. Digital communication networks and computing have started to change how Science evolves enabling new methods, experimentations and scale. In certain areas of Science (radio-astronomy, environment, biology, health,…), new technologies and instrumentation are at the basis of “data factories” producing very large amounts of data. However, the availability of unprecedented quantity of data poses new problems (storage, management, search, preservation, etc) impacting on the efficiency with which research communities are able to manage, share and manipulate it.

Paradigm shift in modern Science

The new thing in the 'digitally-based' scientific environments is that raw data and structured data (including scientific papers) are not any more far away in the scientific process as they used to be in 'paper-based' environments where data was confined to be used during the experimental activities and somehow dissociated from the presentation of results. The trend is now towards a continuum of the scientific information space enabled by digital technologies. This evolution brings new challenges for modern scientific communities. New competences will be needed and new organisations will emerge.

  • The Global Alliance for Enhancing Access to and Application of Scientific Data in Developing Countries, of the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development, UN G@ID
  • U.S. National Committee for CODATA
  • Brazilian National Committee for CODATA.
  • CODATA Task Group on Preservation of and Access to Scientific and Technical Data in Developing Countries