The User Community Board met via a teleconference on 25th November 2011. Representatives were present from the following communities: Earth Sciences, Life Sciences (LSGC), Astronomy & Astrophysics, Auger, Digital Cultural Heritage and WeNMR as well as EGI User Community Support Team (UCST). The meeting began with an explanation of the restructuring of user and community support within EGI-InSPIRE. This is now re-focused on outreach and combined with dissemination and policy in a single work package. The outreach comprises two tasks within the work package: Community Outreach and Technical Outreach to New User Communities. Other aspects of EGI’s user support including the Technical Services were reported upon. Progress with Requirements Processing can be seen here: https://wiki.egi.eu/wiki/Track_User_Support_Requirements). During the discussion representatives were reminded that multiple submissions of similar requirements from different disciplines are valuable in enabling us to present strong arguments for requirements on the basis of the scope and therefore potential impact of any development work.
At the UCB meeting the representatives were given advanced notice of an important face-to-face meeting that has been called in Amsterdam next January (24 – 25). The meeting, called User Community Sustainability, is part of a week of meetings focused on planning for the services and support that will be needed by user communities. The information gathered from this meeting will then feed into the planning activities of EGI.eu and the other partners within EGI. It was agreed that the UCB representatives will collate information on their needs in advance of the meeting in order to present a strong and coherent case to the EGI partners.
There was a discussion on the EGI Community Forum 2012 which will be held in Munich, Germany, next year (26 – 30 March). The event is being co-organised with the EMI project and so will provide an opportunity for close collaboration between representatives from the user communities and the middleware software development teams.
All VRCs were invited to produce posters promoting their activities and inviting new users. There will be a workshop session at the Community Forum presenting the VRCs and their activities which will also welcome participation from new, so far unrepresented communities.
The VRCs present reported on activities over the last month. Some highlights: WeNMR has been recognised as European infrastructure and as such is now listed in the ESFRI project INSTRUCT web page plus various events are planned and are advertised on the WeNMR website; LSGC reported multiple support tickets for the crowded BIOMED VO and some Nagios monitoring issues; AUGER reported 1.5TB data produced per day and VOMS server update challenges; AA reported a recent meeting in Paris where a number of representatives from diverse Astronomy-related groups met to discuss the formation of a number of inter-related VRCs for the discipline; Computational Chemistry reported a new newsletter but insufficient critical mass to move towards a VRC.