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Collaborative research infrastructures on global scale for earth and space sciences face a plethora of challenges from technical implementations to organizational aspects. Science gateways – also known as virtual research environments (VREs) or virtual laboratories - address part of such challenges by providing end-to-end solutions to aid researchers to focus on their specific research questions without the need to become acquainted with the technical details of the complex underlying infrastructures. In general, they provide a single point of entry to tools and data irrespective of organizational boundaries and thus make scientific discoveries easier and faster. The importance of science gateways has been recognized on national as well as on international level by funding bodies and by organizations. For example, the US NSF has just funded a Science Gateways Community Institute, which offers support, consultancy and open accessible software repositories for users and developers; Horizon 2020 provides funding for virtual research environments in Europe, which has led to projects such as VRE4EIC (A Europe-wide Interoperable Virtual Research Environment to Empower Multidisciplinary Research Communities and Accelerate Innovation and Collaboration); national or continental research infrastructures such as XSEDE in the USA, Nectar in Australia or EGI in Europe support the development and uptake of science gateways; the global initiatives International Coalition on Science Gateways, the RDA Virtual Research Environment Interest Group as well as the IEEE Technical Area on Science Gateways have been founded to provide global leadership on future directions for science gateways in general and facilitate awareness for science gateways. This presentation will give an overview on these projects and initiatives aiming at supporting domain researchers and developers with measures for the efficient creation of science gateways, for increasing their usability and sustainability under consideration of the breadth of topics in the context of science gateways. It will go into detail for the challenges the community faces for collaborative research on global scale without geographical boundaries and will provide suggestions for further enhancing the outreach to domain researchers.