Have you rolled the DICE

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Have you rolled the DICE?

The EUDAT Collaborative Data Infrastructure (EUDAT CDI) is a major European service infrastructure supporting research data management. It is sustained by a network of more than 20 European research organisations and data and computing centres. CSC, as one of these organisations, offers EUDAT data services as part of its own service portfolio.

EUDAT CDI members jointly launched the EU-funded DICE (Data infrastructure capacity for EOSC) project, which mission is to provide data service capacity for EOSC - the European Open Science Cloud, and lower the threshold for accessing EUDAT services.  DICE provides data management services wholly or partially covered by the EU. The services are used for instance to store, publish, describe and share research data. 

DICE offers “something for everyone”, from individual scientist all the way up to the most demanding scientific research projects. The offering includes services ranging personal cloud storage for individuals and small teams to sophisticated services for projects, organisations and research infrastructures. The core of the service offering is the EUDAT service portfolio complemented with additional state-of-the-art services.

The project will not directly affect the use of EUDAT's basic self-service services, which will remain free of charge as before. These services are the public B2SHARE, operated by CSC, and the basic B2DROP, provided from Germany. 

DICE's added value is most clearly demonstrated in the customised solutions that CSC offers its customers using EUDAT technology (see the previous blog https://www.csc.fi/en/-/customisable-eudat-services-as-part-of-csc-service-portfolio). Thanks to EU funding, such new B2SHARE and B2SAFE customers will be able to access these services free of charge. The DICE project offering can therefore be seen as an opportunity to pilot the services before committing into a paid service. The opportunity is particularly suitable for Finnish higher education institutes and research institutes. Small customisation of services for research communities or projects can also be implemented as part of DICE, for example by adding a dedicated area to the public B2SHARE service for the community's data. 

The main condition for free access is that the applicant is a new customer for EUDAT. This is in line with EU funding rules and the EU's drive to make services available especially to new regions and customers. In other respects the DICE project does not have strong restrictions, so for example the use of services on the private sector is possible.

The DICE project currently provides resources for projects such as the international fusion research project E-TASC and the Finnish Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research INAR. For both user groups, CSC is implementing a thematic research data management solution that will allow researchers to store, describe and share data generated in different locations on EUDAT platforms. For E-TASC, work is underway to connect B2SAFE storage to computing environments across Europe and for INAR, the B2SHARE thematic data repository is being developed, partly with DICE funding. DICE funding is therefore ideally suited to the piloting phase of the services. The EU funding will allow the client organisation to test the services easily.

DICE funding covers the operating costs and the basic start-up costs of the service. Often there is a need to tailor the service to the needs of the client (usually the organisation) and there are limited possibilities for using DICE funding for this purpose. The details can be discussed on a case-by-case basis. DICE funding can be complemented by a service contract.

The DICE project will run until June 2023 and the call for service request is continuously open. For the services provided by CSC, B2SHARE and B2SAFE, the easiest way is to contact CSC directly, while for the other services the easiest way is to visit the DICE website. You can also browse the range of services on the EOSC portal.

More information:

For more information on EUDAT services, please contact servicedesk@csc.fi or Heidi Laine, Customer Solutions Manager, CSC, tel. 094572820, e-mail heidi.laine at csc.fi.

PR of DICE call for service request 3/2021

DICE homepage

European Open Science Cloud / DICE services

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Antti Pursula

The author is a development manager at CSC and head of secretariat of EUDAT consortium

Tommi Kutilainen

The author has a few decades of experience in scicomm at CSCfi and he is especially interrested in everything.  Twitter: @TommiKutilainen