January 2007

A meet of great belief

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The first European and Indian e- Infrastructures conference was  held at the Grand New Delhi, New Delhi, India during 14-15 December 2006, attracting over 250 research, industrial and academic delegates from ICT and its related domains. The august conference was organised by the BELIEF (Bringing Europe's eLectronic Infrastructures to Expanding Frontiers) consortium. The BELIEF partners are from varied backgrounds and areas of expertise, spanning Europe, Asia, America and Latin America. The BELIEF Consortium possesses experience and expertise in community development, e-Infrastructure, networking connections and digital library development. The consortium shares complementary skills, international resources and links in the areas of e-Infrastructures.

The aim of this first of its kind event was to exchange information and views on how eInfrastructures are currently deployed in both Europe and India, with the objective of analysing how their increasing role is viewed in a business, educational, socio-political and scientific context. The two-day intensive discussions looked at promoting the sustained use of the EU-India link (Geant2 connectivity) and especially its use by new user communities.

The intellectually stimulating two-day programme was specifically targeted at industry and research experts and new users who wish to adopt eInfrastructures effectively within their workplace or research activities. The participants represented a rich mix of industry, government, research and academia, and NGOs. 14 EU-funded projects were showcased and there were key eInfrastructures stakeholders from Indian and European organisations. Though a majority of the delegates were from India, but there was sizeable representation of  European and Latin American delegates too. The country breakdown of the participants showed that 78 percent were Indians, 19 percent were Europeans, and 3 percent were from Latin America and other countries.

The aim of this first of its kind event was to exchange information and views on how eInfrastructures are currently deployed in both Europe and India, with the objective of analysing how their increasing role is viewed in a business, educational, socio-political and scientific context.

Some of the speakers from Europe were representatives from CNRS-IN2P3 (France), Copenhagen Business School (Denmark), D-Grid (Germany), Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands), GEIE ERCIM (France), GRNET (Greece), INFN Cagliari (Italy), Infra Technologies (France), KTH (Sweden), Martel GmbH (United Kingdom), Poznan Supercomputing (Poland), RENATER (France) and  University of Salerno (Italy). Additionally, officials of the European Commission and the European Union delegation to India were present to exchange information with the delegates, on opportunities for mutual and collaborative European funded programmes in R&D.

Indian representations included members from the Ministry of IT, ERNET India, Avanade Inc, Sullivan University, C-DAC Noida, Centre for Science Development and Media Studies (the NGO was a media partner), DELNET-Developing Library Network,  IIIT Bangalore, IIT Bombay, Indian Institute of Statistics, Institute of Biomedical Technologies, National Informatics Centre, PlanetEDU Pvt.Ltd, etc.

The plenary and parallel sessions explored the concept of eInfrastructures with great introspection and detail. The topics discussed were:

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