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The African Open Science Platform/Susan Veldsman


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Presented during the AOSP ICT Infrastructure meeting on 14 May 2018, Pretoria, SA.

Published in: Data & Analytics
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The African Open Science Platform/Susan Veldsman

  1. 1. The African Open Science Platform Presented by Susan Veldsman Director: Scholarly Publishing Porgramme Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) Research Infrastructure Workshop, 14 May 2018
  2. 2. Data Driven World
  3. 3. Trusted Research & Data • Trust is at the centre of the process of science • Trust research & researchers who have your best interest at heart • Build new research on existing research/data • To be trusted, it needs to be managed
  4. 4. Square Kilometre Array (SKA) • Data collection on a massive scale • Telescope array to consist of 250,000 radio antennas between Australia & SA • Investment in machine learning and artificial intelligence software tools to enable data analysis • 400+ engineers and technicians in infrastructure, fibre optics, data collection • Supercomputers to process data (IBM) • To come: super computer 3x times power of world’s current fastest computer (Tianhe-2) to cope with SKA data
  5. 5. Africa participation • Botswana • Ghana • Kenya • Madagascar • Mauritius • Mozambique • Namibia • Zambia
  6. 6. H3ABioNet (H3Africa) 30 institutions, 15 African countries, 2 partners outside Africa
  7. 7. • African human genomic research; Central node at University of Cape Town • Using NetMap to monitor connectivity • Data transfer: Africa Globus Online (668,622 files transferred between Rhodes University & UCT; 140TB data transferred from USA to SA • Challenges: slow & unstable Internet, unreliable power supply, continent-wide obsolete computer infrastructure that varies between medium-scale server infrastructure to a small number of workstations, with multiple operating systems, lack of centralized, secure data storage • Other: database of participants (H3APRDB, REDCap), data analysis incl. Galaxy, Job Management System, eBiokits, REDCap, WebProtege, Pipelines for data execution, data repository (European Genome-Phenome Archive)
  8. 8. Open Science Defined “Open Science is the practice of science in such a way that others can collaborate and contribute, where research data, lab notes and other research processes are freely available, under terms that enable reuse, redistribution and reproduction of the research and its underlying data and methods.” - FOSTER Project, funded by the European Commission
  9. 9. Open Data Repositories (re3data - 16)
  10. 10.
  11. 11. African Open Science Platform • Platform = opportunity to engage in dialogue, create awareness, connect all, provide continental view • Funded by SA Dept. of Science & Technology through National Research Foundation • 3 years (1 Nov. 2016 – 31 Oct. 2019) • Managed by Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) • Through ASSAf hosting ICSU Regional Office for Africa (ICSU ROA) • Direction from CODATA
  12. 12. Accord on Open Data in a Big Data World • Values of open data in emerging scientific culture of big data • Need for an international framework • Proposes comprehensive set of principles • FAIR Principles • Provides framework & plan for African data science capacity mobilization initiative • Proposes African Platform Call to Endorse
  13. 13. Key Stakeholders • Global Network of Science Academies (IAP) • International Council for Science (ICSU) • The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) • Research Data Alliance (RDA) • NRENs (Internet Service Providers for Education) • Association of African Universities (AAU) • Network of African Science Academies (NASAC) • African Research Councils (incl. DIRISA, funders) • African Universities • African Governments • Other
  14. 14. Database Experts & Initiatives 800+
  15. 15. Landscape Survey: Countries & Initiatives 567
  16. 16. Concentration of Activities
  17. 17. Click to view Initiatives/Country Please note: this is just a preview and data still to be cleaned and updated and corrected.
  18. 18. AOSP Focus Areas Policy Infrastructur Capacity Building Incentives
  19. 19. Policy Framework • Policy provide guidance & see to well-being of all citizens - political will • Policies to address (also see existing policies): • FAIR Principles • Raw vs Processed/other data • Licensing • Sensitive data • Intellectual Property Issues
  20. 20. Policy Framework • JKUAT (Kenya) Institutional Open Data Policy • Uganda Draft Open Data Policy • Madagascar Lobbying for Open Data Policy • Towards a White Paper on Open Research Data Strategy in Botswana • White Paper on Science , Technology and Innovation in South Africa • South Africa Open Science Framework—EU/SA dialogue • Funder Policy: National Research Foundation (NRF)(SA) • OECD Principles & Guidelines for Access to Research Data from Public Funding
  21. 21. Capacity Building Framework • Data collector vs data user vs data manager Therefore the following are core aspects to capacity building: • Research Data Management Planning • Repositories • Command Line Interpretation • Software Development • Data Organisation • Data Cleaning • Data Management & Databases • Data Analysis & Visualisation (incl. programming)
  22. 22. Capacity Building Framework • Engineers, Statisticians, Data Scientists, Librarians, Data Curators, Researchers, System Administrators, Policymakers, Auditors, Data Centre Managers, Data Architects – Wim Hugo • Different skills for different categories of data workers • Existing workshops presented • Tertiary curricula need to adapt more rapidly • Never too early to learn to work with data, program
  23. 23. Incentives Framework • Funder requirements changing • Mechanisms that acknowledge publication of datasets and to promote data sharing • How do we deal with difficulties in sharing data—what are the solutions • Why is sharing essential • How do we make sharing successful • How do we lay the fears down and ensure buy- in
  24. 24. African NRENs Source: WorldBank_Map2.jpg • Cluster 1: Southern and Easter Africa- UbuntuNet Alliance • Cluster 2: Western and Central Africa-WACREN • Cluster 3: North Africa- --Asren
  25. 25. South African Research and Infrastructure Roadmap, DST • Focus on global infrastructure in South Africa, • South African Research Infrastructure Roadmap (SARIR) has been developed to facilitate a research infrastructure investment programme • “SARIR is intended to provide a strategic, rational, medium to long term framework for planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating the provision of research infrastructures (RIs) necessary for a competitive and sustainable national system of innovation” (DST, 2016:2).
  26. 26. National Integrated Cyberinfrastructure Service (NICIS) • Research Infrastructure is dependent on cyber- infrastructure. • This dependency refers to access to physical sites, data sharing, curation, provenance, protection, and developing interoperability and metadata standards. • From the start of any RI programme, E-science and cyber- infrastructure need to allow virtual access and open access to national and international data. • Centre of High Performance Computing, • South African National Research Network • Data Intensive Research Initiative of South Africa • will provide the necessary cyber-infrastructure capabilities for the successful operation of all the RIs on a generic basis, this will be known as the National Integrated Cyberinfrastructure Service” (DST, 206:55
  27. 27. Ilifu • • Consortium of 6 Western Cape institutions • Data-centric, high-performance computing facility for data-intensive research • Proto-typing distributed, federated cloud-based infrastructure as a platform for data-intensive research (African Research Cloud) • Data-processing pipelines and e-science research tools for big data analysis, visualisation and analytics • Development and implementation of research data management systems and tools • Development of platforms, portals and middleware to support access and collaborative research by distributed teams on data-intensive projects
  28. 28. • Towards strategy and action plan, implementation plan and governance structure • Support strategic plans on Science, Technology, Innovation • Guide on creating and enabling environment to harness science, technology and innovation • Impact socio-economic development & industrialization • Enhance education in developing & using technologies • Support collaborative research development & innovation SADC Cyber-Infrastructure Framework
  29. 29. • Cyber-infrastructure is a key driver for a knowledge based economy • Comprises of technologies, skills, people and policies which support generation, analysis, transport, sharing, stewardship of information (incl. data) • Framework provides Roadmap towards Cyber- infrastructure Strategy
  30. 30. Se [Source: Colin Wright SADC/ET-ST1/1/2016/11 Document]
  31. 31. Closing Remarks • Collaborate & learn from one another – strength in diversity • Take ownership & collect/curate data in ethical way • Downloaders vs Uploaders • Trusted & valid data managed in trusted way • Exploit data for the benefit of society (Min Naledi Pandor) • Tell the African story, in an African way
  32. 32.
  33. 33. Objectives • Identify the issues that need to be dealt with when drafting framework/roadmap of RI • Raise awareness within REN’s regarding services beyond connectivity • Consult with YOU as experts to shape • Our own ideas about the way forward • Possible Phase two of project • Identify a”writer” • Identify a “team” to assist with a framework/roadmap
  34. 34. Thank you! Susan Veldsman