The existence of high-speed research networks in Europe, with full administrative and operational support, has paved the way for the development of an overlying Grid infrastructure supplying distributed computing power and storage across geographical and administrative domains. This integrated network and processing/storage environment (e-Infrastructure) provides a powerful platform for new methods of global collaborative research (e-Science). The leading initiatives in the e-Infrastructure field are the GÉANT2 and the EGEE projects.
Through the share of expertise and computing resources available in Europe (Italy, Portugal, and Spain), already integrated within the framework of EGEE) and Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela), the "E-Infrastructure shared between Europe and Latin America" – EELA - project is creating a powerful research network developing an e-Infrastructure for e-Science applications.
EELA, initiated on the 1st of January 2006 and coordinated by CIEMAT (Spain), is a 2-year project run by 21 institutions of Europe and Latin America under the 6th Framework Programme for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration (FP6) of the European Commission (EC).
The objective of EELA is to bring the e-Infrastructures of Latin American countries to the level of those of Europe exploiting the Specific Support Action measure of EC. EELA will benefit of the mature state of the ALICE project and of the RedCLARA network to focus on Grid infrastructure and related e-Science applications, identifying and promoting a sustainable framework for e-Science.
The core of the EELA approach is to create a collaboration network that will care of the organization of training in Grid technologies and of the deployment of a pilot Grid infrastructure for e-science applications.
Many activities will concentrate on dissemination and outreach, knowledge dissemination and hands-on workshops, in close collaboration with other related EC funded projects such as GÉANT2, ALICE, BalticGrid, BELIEF, EGEE, EUChinaGRID, EUIndiaGrid, EUMedGRID, and SEE-GRID. In parallel, pilot Grid infrastructure developments will be carried out across Latin American, including Grid cluster deployment wherever possible and development and enforcement of operational and organizational schemes and policies.
Finally, a wide range of e-Science applications will be encouraged. All selected applications will profit from the pilot infrastructure and then become the driving force to further test and deploy a large-scale effective pilot Grid infrastructure between Europe and Latin America. This approach will hopefully enable the participation of Latin American countries in wider European and worldwide e-Infrastructures and e-Science activities.