Available e-Infrastructure resources as well as the conditions for access vary strongly between countries. This limits the ability of universities and research institutes to collaborate with each other and with commercial researchers. Therefore, there is an urgent need for a European "e-Infrastructure Commons": a flexible and dynamic ecosystem, providing integrated services through interoperable infrastructures.
A centrally managed e‑Infrastructure is not a solution. Instead, there is a need for a joint strategic effort involving users, providers, and funding agencies, leading to a high degree of coordination without stifling innovation. The e-IRG White Paper 2013 outlines a number of steps towards this objective. These steps focus mainly on changes in organisation, governance and funding; an important element is the empowerment of end-users through changes in funding mechanisms.
The White Paper 2013 was based on contributions by various e-IRG champions, all experts in different areas. In order to keep the White Paper sufficiently concise, the original contributions were strongly condensed. However, a much longer version of the White Paper will remain available from the e-IRG website, including all of these contributions. The comments from a consultation on an earlier draft are also available on the website, in order to facilitate an open and transparent discussion.
The e-IRG White Paper 2013, the long version of the White Paper, and the comments can all be found at http://www.e-irg.eu/publications/white-papers.html