I have just returned from a productive visit to the lively and stimulating EGI Community Forum in Manchester. ITaaU Network+ was invited to contribute to Wednesdays’ series of presentations on sustainability issues. This proved to be a serendipitous follow up to the recent Collaboration Workshop in Oxford as SSI was also included. ITaaU nicely complements the work on applications and middleware components, as the Network+ supports researchers with interests in the more physical interactions and interfaces to networks and infrastructures.
The combined session provided an opportunity to outline the ITaaU Network+ and the various funding schemes that we are able to offer: pilot projects, secondments and workshops where appropriate. In the discussions that ensued at least two viable workshop ideas emerged and we hope to be able to announce these very soon. The funding of current secondments call is unfortunately limited to UK-based researchers, however we are able to support international travel for candidates if they have an institution outside of the UK that is willing to support their work. Similar constraints will be applicable to our forthcoming second Pilot Project call.
The European Grid Infrastructure supports the Infrastructure needs of the European research community but the IT as a Utility Network+, although currently UK-focussed is gradually reaching out to a wider International audience and will do more so in the future. When it eventually emerges, the Horizon 2020 call will present some interesting opportunites for ITaaU members to join partners from across Europe in developing our activities further.
In the meantime, Manchester represented a fine opportunity to re-acqaint myself with many old friends, former colleagues and new contacts during this challenging but exciting time of transition.