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2nd IBERGRID Conference

 - 10/05/2008

Logotype of the 2nd IBERGRID – Iberian Computation Grid Network ConferenceOn 12 and 14 May 2008 the 2nd IBERGRID Conference – Iberian Computation Grid Network took place. IBERGRID was set up by a joint decision of the Spanish and Portuguese governments at the November 2006 Portugal-Spain summit. The objective was to integrate the two countries’ Computation Grid infrastructures within a coherent network, thus increasing their computational capacity and stepping up cooperation between their institutions and researchers and reinforcing scientific cooperation between the two countries’ institutions and researchers working in this field.

As one of the instruments for intensifying collaboration between Spanish and Portuguese institutions and researchers, the decision was taken to hold a series of annual conferences, alternating from one country to the other, starting with this conference. The 1st IBERGRID Conference – Iberian Computation Grid Network was held in Santiago de Compostela on 14-16 May 2007, only six months after the decision to establish it was taken at the Luso-Spanish Summit of 2006 and the 2nd IBERGRID Conference – Iberian Computation Grid Network is being held exactly a year later.

The official opening of the Conference will involve the presence of the Portuguese Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education, and the Director-General for International Cooperation of the Ministry for Science and Innovation of Spain, representing the Minister of Science and Innovation of Spain. The conference will include invited speeches by the President of The Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC), Luis Magalhães, the acting Director of the Emerging Technologies and Infrastructures of the Information Society and Media Directorate-General of the European Commission, Mário Campolargo, and the Coordinator of the Spanish e-Science Network, Vicente Hernández.

The 2008 IBERGRID Conference Programme indicates that various aspects of Grid Computing and its applications will be presented and discussed, including those for civil defence, in particular within the framework of the European Project CYCLOPS – Cyber Infrastructure for Civil Defence Operative Procedures, in which Portugal participates through the National Fire-fighters and Civil Defence Service and through the University of Minho. The session earmarked for this project will consider applications from the Computation Grid as a response to civil defence emergencies such as fighting forest fires or the response to floods.

The union of Portugal and Spain in IBERGRID has enabled the construction of a joint network, under the scope of a project financed by the EU Framework Programme EGEE – Enabling Grids for E-sciencE in Europe, known as the European Southwest Federation, which at present has more than 1 500 CPUs and now plays a significant role in Europe’s GRID structure.

Portugal launched the National GRID Initiative (INGRID) on 29 April 2006. This initiative was planned, monitored and partially financed by The Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC), and the R&D work it carries out is done through funding granted by Science and Technology Foundation (FCT), following a public tender for projects and independent international evaluation. A call for tender for funding for R&D and demonstration projects in GRID computation was launched by FCT in November 2006 and the INGRID’06 Day took place in Braga in the same month.

There are currently 15 R&D projects underway involving a total funding granted by FCT of around 1.7 million euros, which were approved following an open public tender in November 2006 which received 37 submissions. These projects involve Grid Computing applications in areas which range from data simulation and analysis of high energy Physics such as those produced by the LHC – Large Hadron Collider at CERN and plasma physics and nuclear fusion, to forecasting the evolution of the maritime coastline, simulating forest fires, mapping atmospheric pollution, protein structure simulation, medical applications storage and brain imaging.

In 2007, using financing from The Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC) and the Operational Programme for the Knowledge Society (POSC), it was decided to establish a main node for the GRID infrastructure at FCCN (The Foundation for National Scientific Computation) which has involved setting up a large 400 m2 GRID data centre, and an increase in the Portuguese Grid infrastructure to around 650 CPUs in the next two months and to more than 1 200 CPUs by the end of 2008. This would provide Portugal with a significant dimension at a European level. The National GRID Initiative (INGRID) also envisaged strengthening national and international connectivity with a significant increase in the bandwidth of the national Science, Technology and Education Network (RCTS – Rede Ciência, Tecnologia e Sociedade), managed by FCCN and financed by UMIC.

This increase in connectivity has been achieved through several projects: the installation of fibre optic cable from FCCN in Lisbon to Braga (in 2005) and to Valença (in 2007) enabling connections of up to 10 Gigabits per second (Gbps) between research institutions and universities located within this coastal area and allowing connection to the Geant2 European teaching and research network through Spain, the connection of RCTS to the Geant2 network at 2.5 Gbps at the end of 2005, the extension of the FCCN fibre optic cable to include Lisbon-Setúbal-Évora-Portalegre-Fronteira do Caia which has taken place in the following six months, also with financing from UMIC and POSC, and ensuring fibre optic redundant ring connection to the Geant2 network through Spain, and RCTS connection to the Geant2 European Network at 10 Gbps within a month.

A two year project funded by the EU was started in 2007 to prepare for the setting up and modelling of the organisation of the EGI – European Grid Initiative. This project involves the national GRID initiatives of 38 countries, including the 27 EU countries as well as Belarus, Croatia, Israel, Moldova, Montenegro, Norway, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland, Turkey and the Ukraine. Portugal is represented by UMIC and by LIP, the senior figures of which form part of the GRID European Initiatives Policy Council, to which Professor Gaspar Barreira, the Director of LIP, was elected President.

In less than two years, Portugal has put itself on the European GRID Computing map and ensured the means to participate through a position of influence in decisions concerning the future of the European GRID initiative and the gigantic GRID Computing system which is being set up.

Last updated ( 23/08/2011 )