e-INFRA CZ succeeded in the international evaluation of large research infrastructures in the Czech Republic
The e-INFRA CZ consortium has achieved the highest possible score in the international evaluation of large research infrastructures in the Czech Republic, which took place under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic.
The consortium consists of three independent infrastructures: CESNET, IT4Innovations and CERIT-SC. The evaluation highlighted, among other things, the progress made in merging these infrastructures and the resulting benefit of a unified access to services for users.
"The purpose of the international evaluation was to obtain independent expert evidence for the adoption of an informed political decision of the government on the support of large research infrastructures from the public funds of the Czech Republic from 2023. Large research infrastructures thus approved by the government will be subsequently listed in the next update of the Roadmap of Large Research Infrastructures of the Czech Republic," said Lukáš Levák, Director of the Research and Development Department of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic.
A conveniently geographically structured e-infrastructure enables the provision of comprehensive capabilities and resources for the transfer, storage and processing of scientific data to all R&D actors, regardless of their sector.
"I am pleased that the integration efforts of the three infrastructures have been positively evaluated. In a very short period of time, we have managed to formalise our cooperation, creating common governing bodies, working groups and rules for our collaboration. We have a clear roadmap for the way forward in order to simplify access to our services and European scientific data for users," says Jan Gruntorád, Principal Investigator of the evaluated projects.
The technical background of the involved infrastructures was evaluated by the panel of experts as modern and competitive in terms of performance and quality of service. It appreciated the implementation of the latest technologies, the emphasis on innovation and in-house research, as well as the ability to respond to the ever-changing needs of users. In this context, it was considered important to continue the involvement of e-INFRA CZ in European and international cooperation, which enables the connection of scientific communities and their access to the latest research and development results.
"In addition to its long-standing participation in the pan-European research and education network GÉANT, e-INFRA CZ has also been involved in the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). We actively support the European Union's efforts to open science and free access to scientific data and R&D results for their use in practice," adds Luděk Matyska, Director of CERIT-SC.
The e-INFRA CZ infrastructure offers the academic and scientific community the most powerful supercomputer systems in the Czech Republic. Researchers can use the extensive computing capacity for their research projects, simulations and data analyses.
"Continuous modernisation and increase of computing capacity is one of our goals. We support the increase of competitiveness and innovation of Czech science. Most recently, we commissioned the Karolina supercomputer with a peak performance of 15.2 PFlop/s, which is the 19th most powerful in Europe and the 69th in the world," said Vít Vondrák, Director of the IT4Innovations National Supercomputing Centre.
The expert evaluation panel also defined the areas on which the e-INFRA CZ consortium should focus. Among other things, it recommended that the consortium should strengthen unified user access, obtain users´ feedback and simplify access to computing and cloud resources by connecting all parts of the infrastructure.