NWO has selected 33 of the most important large-scale research facilities in The Netherlands in the National Roadmap for Large-Scale Scientific Infrastructures. In order to receive funding, these facilities have to provide a correct analysis of the required ICT-infrastructure, the agreements with SURF, and the estimated costs when they apply for funding.
NWO not only supports the need for high-performing and reliable ICT resources for each area of large-scale research but also acknowledges the importance to optimally use the existing resources and expertise. This is an excellent development, according to Erik Fledderus, general manager at SURF: "In the past, researchers only received funding for ICT resources which they built themselves. This was not the right way to proceed since physicists or historians are no ICT experts."
New developments such as Big Data have accelerated researchers' requirements for support from SURF in recent years. "We want to respond to these requirements because we are keen on helping science forward. This however has to be financed through, for instance, these projects."
The workshop has been organized by NWO and SURF. The programme consisted of presentations by organisations that have been set up to support science in The Netherlands using ICT services. These include SURF, but also the Netherlands eScience Center, DANS DTL for data storage in the life sciences, and Nikhef, the Institute for Subatomic Physics. Services from the University of Groningen and 4TU also contributed to the workshop.
In addition, there were sessions where researchers were able to map their requirements for ICT-infrastructure by means of a questionnaire. Service provider experts answered questions from researchers. The service providers remain at the researchers' disposal in the coming months in order to support roadmap applications and other requirements.
Workshop presentations and documents are available at the SURF website.