Parallel Thematic Sessions: E-Infrastructures


First Part: Sustainability & Business Models

E-Infrastructures can be considered successful when, after the initial development period, their operation is supported by established income streams that create confidence in the operators' ability to deliver services in the future. In order to ensure long-term sustainability and the continuous development needed for e-infrastructures (as for all infrastructures), two intertwined issues have to be addressed: business models and long-term funding at national or supra-national level. The first issue is related to who pays for services – individual users, institutions, government or a combination of those. The second issue arises from the availability of public funds often only in the form of short term grants, which may create a feeling of precariousness and lack of financial sustainability.

The session will discuss emerging business models and identifies possible policy solutions to the above challenges listing their advantages and disadvantages, including new approaches such as public-private partnerships and "pay-as-you-go" schemes, in view of providing access to digital services and infrastructures to all researchers.


Second Part: New Professions and Skills

The expansion of e-Science demands the development of new skills and professions, such as e-infrastructure operators, research technologists, data scientists and data librarians. Professional recognition of these communities and the development of appropriate curricula and training are crucial to ensure effective delivery of services to research staff and students. Moreover, there is a strong need for developing computational skills in many communities engaged in research and innovation.

This session brings together an international panel to discuss the needs for new professions and skills in order to promote effective e-Infrastructure development, deployment and use. It highlights the cross-cutting challenges of the advancement of new skills and the recognition of emerging professions, and proposes concrete cooperation activities.