The Meraka Institute of the CSIR is working with European, Indian and Brazilian partners on BELIEF-II, a two-year project to support e-infrastructure (also known as cyberinfrastructure) projects. Funded by the Capacities Programme, a part of the European Commission Framework Programme 7, this project will strive to maximise synergies between research, scientific and industrial communities in specific areas relevant to e-infrastructure development and application.
Building on the successes achieved in its first phase, BELIEF-II has as its strategic objective to coordinate the communication of the results achieved by all the e-infrastructure projects. This will be done through organising networking activities, and promoting those worldwide initiatives that could be of interest to future potential users.
Commenting on this participation, Johan Eksteen, manager of the Meraka Institute's technology research programme, notes, "South Africa's e-infrastructure is currently expanding on an almost daily basis. This is largely the beneficial outcome of the investment by the Department of Science and Technology in the Centre for High Performance Computing and the South African National Research Network. As such, it is of huge value to us to participate in BELIEF-II, which has as its goal the promotion of synergy between e-infrastructure projects to promote national and regional initiatives, as well as mutual cooperation."
Eksteen is confident that this participation will boost local activities in the e-infrastructure domain, and promote integration with international e-infrastructure activities for the purpose of joint research and collaboration. "It is particularly important for grand challenges in a number of domains, such as medicine and health, and climate change, to name a few. e-Infrastructure, from high-end computing and broadband communication through to large-scale data issues, is no longer a luxury - it has become integral to our efforts in addressing these challenges."
Additional goals set by BELIEF-II are to reinforce the relevance of e-infrastructure worldwide, to sustain the successful development and exploitation of these globally, and to develop stronger cooperation links with emerging economies, specifically in Latin America, India and South Africa.
To achieve these goals, BELIEF II has provided a communication platform to allow e-infrastructure projects to manage content and communicate activities to users and the public, while serving as a unique access point for more information on e-infrastructures.
Upcoming events planned (among others) are international symposia for major decision-makers, top researchers, scientific policy-makers and industrial organisations, focusing on a future framework for a common agenda regarding e-infrastructure research in the world. Eksteen explains, "The first will take place during January 2009 in India. The second will follow during July 2009 in Brazil, and the third and final event will be in Cape Town, South Africa, during December 2009."
BELIEF-II will also host eConcertation meetings with brainstorming workshops to tackle major issues from the eConcertation meetings.
Enquiries: CSIR Communication