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Jan 29, 2023
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SciLake: a scientific lake for the research ecosystem

Jan 29, 2023

In nature, lakes are rich ecosystems hosting a multitude of heterogeneous life forms (plants, fish, microorganisms). Individual life forms cannot survive in separation,  interactions between them are essential for their existence and the lakes offer the appropriate environment to catalyse them. Likewise, research is an ecosystem in which the various elements (researchers, research outcomes, organisations, funders, facilities, etc) are highly interconnected and can not be interesting or relevant on their own: interpretation, reuse, reproducibility, assessment, and monitoring of these elements require information on their interconnections but also on the who, why, what, and how regarding the respective research products.

SciLake is a Horizon Europe project that aims to introduce and establish the concept of the scientific lake, a research ecosystem where scientific knowledge is contextualised, connected, interoperable, and accessible overcoming challenges related to the heterogeneity and large interconnectivity of the underlying data.

The project will build upon the concept of data lakes adapting it to better serve the needs of the research community at large. More specifically, SciLake aims to extend the technical work in the field of Science Knowledge Graphs (SKGs) leveraging them as the foundation of a scientific lake service that will facilitate creating, combining, accessing, and querying cross-domain and domain-specific SKGs. In addition, the project will create on top an additional tier of smart services to assist in the discovery of emerging topics and of valuable research outcomes and to improve research reproducibility. The work will be done in close consultation with four research communities (Neuroscience, Cancer research, Transportation research, and Energy research). Finally, the project will leverage EOSC functionalities (e.g., comply with the EOSC Interoperability Framework for monitoring, accounting, and AAI) and will integrate its open-source services into the portfolio of OpenAIRE and EOSC Core services.

"SciLake brings together a competent consortium including partners with significant expertise in knowledge management, discovery, and assessment to guarantee the successful implementation of the scientific lake and its services, but also domain experts from four important research disciplines (Neuroscience, Cancer research, Transportation research, and Energy research) to ensure that their special requirements will taken into consideration." Paolo Manghi, OpenAIRE CTO 

"All SciLake services will be developed as Open Source software and will build upon EOSC functionalities when possible. They are expected to further enhance EOSC core with useful functionalities that will facilitate applications in scientific knowledge discovery and research monitoring and assessment." Thanasis Vergoulis, OpenAIRE Development and Operation Director

The project has secured funding of almost 5 million euros and its activities will take place for 36 months (starting from 1/1/23). The consortium, coordinated by ATHENA RC, consists of 13 partners coming from 9 countries. OpenAIRE brings to SciLake the OpenAIRE Graph technologies, contributes significantly to the requirements collection and the architecture design, and leads the dissemination, communication and user engagement activities.

The kick-off meeting of the SciLake project took place on January 23rd and 24th in Athens, GreeceOpenAIRE representatives, Natalia Manola (CEO) and Paolo Manghi (CTO) represented our organisation at the event and presented their vision along with the respective technical details of their work plan.

Are you interested? You can always be up-to-date by following  SciLake’s official twitter account or by participating in SciLake’s official LinkedIn group.