Access to the diversity of data is going to be made easier: meet the FAIR-EASE Project

Access to the diversity of data is going to be made easier: meet the FAIR-EASE Project

19 Oct 2022

The FAIR-EASE project, which kicked off in September 2022, will employ an interdomain digital architecture for the integrated use of environmental data, composed of a Data Discovery and Access Service and an Earth-Analytical Lab and Data Lake.

A new project has joined the EOSC family! The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) ecosystem has been active in gathering research data and services since 2015 and aims to become the main data space for science by federating existing research and data infrastructures in Europe and creating a web of FAIR data for science, in line with the European Strategy for Data.

In the current phase, EOSC efforts are focused on bringing together scientific communities in a multidisciplinary effort, and that’s where FAIR-EASE comes in. 

In a world where societal and scientific challenges are intertwined, multidisciplinary initiatives and projects which allow collaboration among scientists from different domains are key. In this context, machine-actionable services can be useful to enable optimised calculations with various sources of scientific artefacts that have to be both open and understandable to the machine. Gateways between metadata standards become essential to allow the matching of data representations designed for different domains and this is the focus of FAIR-EASE, which has been structured specifically around the requirements from multiple Earth and Environmental Science disciplines, and their thematic research infrastructures.

The study of the earth and environment requires a large panel and volume of heterogeneous data, which are currently still managed and preserved separately in domain-dependent repositories. Although both national and European infrastructures are dedicating more and more attention to their level of FAIRness, that does not mean that the data is homogeneous, and metadata and data still need a lot of work in terms of mapping, processing and conversion to become usable in cross-disciplinary applications. In the specific case of the earth systems domain, this work is even more essential, considering the fact that earth systems are, themselves, highly interconnected, as are their domains of study.

FAIR-EASE has the ambitious objective of overcoming data fragmentation by developing and operating distributed and integrated services for the observation and modelling of the earth system, environment and biodiversity. 

Close cooperation with user communities and research infrastructures will help the consortium to:

  • Improve a FAIR-EASE data discovery and data access service, relying on existing services, in order to provide users with an easy and FAIR service for discovery and access to environmental multidisciplinary and aggregated data-sets as managed and provided by a range of European data infrastructures; 
  • Set up a FAIR-EASE Earth Analytical Lab, with EOSC connectivity supporting, through web-based interfaces (Virtual Research Environment, VRE), processing tools (Virtual Data Analysis Platform, VDAP) and on-demand data visualisation services, to facilitate remote analysis and processing of heterogeneous data for both data analysts and scientists at large. 

A number of multidisciplinary (UCs) will contribute requirements for the FAIR-EASE system components and validate and demonstrate the capabilities of the FAIR-EASE system for supporting open science. 

Along with the other recently funded EOSC projects, FAIR-EASE has embraced the EOSC co-branding, an initiative to unify EOSC branding and avoid confusion amongst stakeholders. It doesn’t stop with the branding, FAIR-EASE will maintain constant contact with the EOSC association and other EOSC projects to make sure that all are working together to achieve the goals set out in the EOSC Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA).

About the project

FAIR-EASE “FAIR EArth Sciences & Environment services” is funded by the European Commission Horizon Europe programme. Coordinated by CNRS and supported by 25 additional partners, the project officially started on the 1st of September 2022 and met for the kick-off hybrid event in Paris from 20 to 22 of September.

    Our role

    Trust-IT is involved in the Dissemination, User Engagement and Outreach Work Package, leading the dissemination task. This involves:

    • Developing the FAIR-EASE brand, including visual identity, dissemination materials and templates 

    • Creating and managing the online presence, including the website and social media channels 

    • Supporting the integration and promotion of FAIR-EASE results in the ecosystem, whether online, through journals or events

    Trust-IT is also responsible for the project’s liaison with and contribution to the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and relevant European initiatives. This involves gathering a Think Tank of FAIR-EASE partners and some invited stakeholders, to share information on relevant research needs, challenges and funding models, in order to formulate recommendations for future EC work programmes and Strategic Research Agendas.

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    Publication date: 18 Oct 2022

    Article by

    Cristina Mancarella

    Research Analyst