Sharing Research Data — GSI and FAIR participate in the establishment of national research data infrastructure


The GSI Helmholtz Centre was a successful co-applicant to fund a consortium of the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI). Under this program, a consortium with strong GSI participation will be funded for the next five years. This was announced by the Join Science Conference (GWK) of the German federal and state governments at its meeting in July. PUNCH4NFDI (Particles, Universe, NuClei, and Hadrons for the NFDI) is a consortium of particle, astroparticle, hadron, and nuclear physics, and will make research data transparent and permanently available. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research is supporting the project with a contribution of 13.2 million euros. Around one million euros of it will go to GSI and FAIR.

In the coming years, scientific experiments at next-generation research facilities will become increasingly complex, leading to an exponentially growing flood of data. Data rates of up to one TeraByte per second are expected for the experiments at the planned accelerator center FAIR, which is currently being built at GSI. The aim of PUNCH4NFDI is to systematically collect, intelligently link and make accessible this extensive data using novel methods. The organization of the data should follow the principles that it is easy to retrieve, easily accessible, linkable and reusable. An important contribution in this respect will be the development of software and algorithms and the creation of publicly available publications. At the heart of PUNCH4NFDI's activities is the development of a federated "Science Data Platform" that includes all the infrastructures and interfaces necessary for access to and use of data and computing resources. For this purpose, techniques and structures are first created on the basis of representative examples that are suitable for joint data management and address topics such as open data, open science and new ideas for processing and managing extremely large amounts of data.

In addition to GSI, the PUNCH4NFDI consortium includes 19 other funding recipients as well as 22 other partners from the Helmholtz Association, the Max Planck Society, the Leibniz Association and universities. "The coordination and cooperation of all consortium partners is one of the central challenges for the realization of universal research data management. Our activities in this regard focus on the exchange of concepts and developments as well as the provision of services provided to the PUNCH4NFDI partners and the entire NFDI. In a first step, we at GSI/FAIR will develop and provide a PUNCH4NFDI-wide authorization and authentication infrastructure together with Forschungszentrum Jülich. With these tools, we enable central access to all research data of the participating institutions,” explains Kilian Schwarz, Head of the Distributed Computing Group in GSI IT and representative of GSI in the management of PUNCH4NFDI. “In addition, we plan to develop metadata and analysis portals as well as to implement basic infrastructures for federated data management and the use of heterogeneous computing resources. With the sustainable high-performance data center Green IT Cube, we provide the consortium with computing time and storage space for its developments.”

Topics related to research data infrastructures already play a central role in the handling of scientific data from experiments at the GSI/FAIR research facility. Therefore, GSI/FAIR is also active in this field in the European environment, where the realization of a common scientific cloud is also promoted. “With their proficiency and expertise in data storage infrastructures and scientific computing, GSI and FAIR are among the key players in this field. Both GSI and FAIR as ‘ESFRI-Landmark’ are active participants in the consortium ‘European Science Cluster of Astronomy & Particle Physics ESFRI Research Infrastructures’ (ESCAPE), in which we are involved in the development of data infrastructures and analysis platforms as well as the provision of research software and services,” says Arjan Vink, head of the third-party funding office at FAIR/GSI, describing the European initiative. (JL)

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