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Science Gateway Institute

Aug 23, 2012 at 11:29 PM

I recently sat on the steering comittee for a Science Gateway Institute proposal to NSF's S2I2 Scientific Software Innovation Institutes program ( I'm very pleased to say that it's been awarded the initial conceptualization grant in full. 

The goal of this 1-year award is to create a strategic plan and compelling vision for a full institute. In the US, Gateways assemble some of the most complex components of today’s cyberinfrastructure, delivered through easy-to-use interfaces.  In recent years I championed/mentored key software components for these gateways in their move from Mitre and Indiana to the Apache Software Foundation (Rave and Airavata). Rave is already a top level project and Airavata is soon to graduate from the Incubator. In this move both projects have gained significant community engagement. It is possible (even likely) that this strategy will be repeated for other software components.

In early September I will be participating in familiarization and feedback conference. Soon after those sessions there will be a round of individual interviews to help identify areas where gateways may help overcome barriers to solving the most challenging science and engineering problems.  In particular (in my case) the team are seeking advice on how best to engage the wider scientific community.

To be successful, the team must win support both from the Office of Cyberinfrastructure and from domain directorates at the NSF. In my opinion this will need to include strong models for sustainability. Part of this, as you would expect from me, revolves around provision, support and maintenance of (true) open source software. Given the teams desire to engage the widest possible community and the success of the Rave and Airavata projects I am confident the team will recognise the value of this approach.

I welcome any observations members of this community wish to make or background materials you feel I ought to read in preparation for these meetings. In particular I am interested in how the .net Bio community might benefit from or contribute to such an institute.

If you prefer to send feedback privately please feel free to mail me directly (rgardler . at . opendirective . com)


Aug 24, 2012 at 12:11 PM

At least for sequencing stuff this review is the most recent: