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Welcome to the UK e-Science Engineering Taskforce Network

The Engineering Task Force (ETF), a network of technical experts in e-Science, service orientated architectures and distributed systems middleware and applications, is one of the key outputs from the UK e-Science programme. The ETF members have experience of e-Science infrastructure development within their own institutions, nationally and internationally, development of applications within e-Science and DTI pilot projects and are usually closely involved with e-Science research teams. The ETF thus plays a vital role in embedding e-Science within institutions and the research community by providing the necessary skills base for project and research teams.

The ETF started with a number of representatives from each e-Science centre. The first deliverable from this network was a prototype e-infrastructure based on several well-known grid tools of the time. This moved from being a purely prototype development into a design study on how a national grid infrastructure could be designed and operated. The first definite output from the ETF was the construction of the Level 2 Grid, the first step towards what is now the UK National Grid Service (NGS) with experiences gained in the higher level services necessary to operate this type of system gained purely by the operations of the ETF. As the programme moved into its second phase and the establishment of the NGS by JISC and EPSRC the ETF moved towards published evaluations of different types of grid software. This was to advise both the NGS and UK e-Science community more generally (in particular campuses as they move to setup infrastructures of their own) on the suitableness of available software, both
academic/open-source and commercial, that has claimed to offer grid solutions. With these reports being read throughout the worldwide e-Science community the output so far has been of significant value. For example during the first review of the NGS it was pointed out by the international member of the review team how the outputs of the ETF have been used by the cyberinfrastrucuture community in the US.

Building on the work done within the core e-Science program the ETF network is intended to secure the technical expertise that
has been developed, to broaden that expertise by enabling wider participation in the ETF and to extend the range of activities the ETF can undertake to continue its work in embedding e-Science in the UK research community.

Aims and Objectives

  1. Maintain the technical community that has built up through the core e-Science programme within each of the original regional e-Science centres and centres of excellence.
  2. Provide a dissemination route between the e-Science community technical experts to ensure minimal duplication
  3. Ensure that we breed synergies between the e-Science, HPC and campus ICT groups where relevant
  4. Create a UK wide repository that showcases the technical aspects of e-Science based projects that will allow new projects to make use of earlier works in a more efficient and timely way.
  5. Guide the technical aspects of the UK National Grid Service including their adoption roadmap to ensure they can provide a more efficient service for academic users from across the spectrum of university research. This will also include through the changing role of the NGS and NGI liaison with the EU EGEE project and its national subcomponents.
    Guide the UK NGS technology roadmap to engage industry users to enable the NGS to improve its services and its long-term sustainability.
    Embed e-Science technologies within the research and industry community by reducing the effort of developing, deploying and managing e-Science infrastructures.
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