“Blueprint Factories are an important way to keep the CI community’s fingers on the pulse of evolving needs in science,” said Pierce, who will lead this component.
Four Blueprint Factories are currently committed. Two serve to understand the need to expand access to extensive NSF-funded computing resources. Another focuses on the domain of materials science. A fourth Blueprint Factory will focus on sustainability best practices. SGX3 will also conduct up to three additional Blueprint Factories for specific scientific areas.
According to Zentner, the team has received inquiries as to whether or not SGX3 is a sequel to SGCI. He has stated that while SGCI will continue to operate beyond its NSF funding, SGX3 is a “different thing” according to its sustainability plan.
“We’ve reformulated some of our previous activities to have a greater focus on helping Science Gateways build partnerships in SGX3, but also to have a much greater focus on bringing the ‘science’ into the realm of Science Gateways ‘ Zentner said. “To truly serve the needs of science, it needs to be a much more equal partnership between subject scientists and cyber infrastructure professionals. Our community development and the new Blueprint Factories effort specifically address that.”
Meeting the changing needs of science
Zentner noted that science gateways must also address new scientific needs, which are constantly being shaped by newly funded large-scale computing infrastructures, advances in artificial intelligence (AI), needs for FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable) resources, and the physical separation of data results in computing resources, regulated data requirements, and the availability of new or specialized computing resources.
“Such issues require forward-thinking thinking about how future science gateway technology should evolve to serve these issues and the domain sciences in which they are important,” explained Zentner. “SGX3 is designed to serve the Science Gateway community by helping its members make effective startup decisions, guiding best practices and sustainability decisions, and serving as a center of excellence to help Gateways meet the future needs of scientific research and… to master education.”
The plan is for SGX3 to achieve all of this through four thrusts:
- building a diverse community,
- human resource development,
- serve as experts for the community and
- imagine the future.
Expected broader impacts of SGX3’s activities include enriching existing relationships and cultivating new connections with institutions serving minorities to integrate gateway development into curricula; Introducing domain-specific gateways to relevant classrooms and research environments; and faculty training to scale this effort to grow and live beyond SGX3.
SGX3 also plans to: enroll PhD students working on real gateway frameworks serving real end users; develop its own staff, not only technologically, but also with mentoring skills, and run a vibrant user experience (UX) advisory board, largely staffed by students who, through working with real science, learn about scientific computing and its associated UX Gateway operators will learn requirements.
The SGX3 conference series and outreach activities will have a special focus on reaching more subject scientists who may be involved in Science Gateways as part of their research, but are unaware that there is a whole community of people who are doing the Facilitate and use the creation and operation of Science Gateways.
Beyond these direct efforts, each science portal supported by SGX3 has, by definition, the goal of expanding the impact of the research and educational resources provided by that portal to the widest possible community.
“All of our activities support this goal of our clientele and amplify the broader impact of SGX3 beyond its internal operations,” said Sandra Gesing, Co-PI of SGX3, who leads the community building effort. “By supporting science portals serving diverse domains, SGX3 will accelerate socially and economically beneficial research such as addressing climate change, improving global food sustainability, planning water and land use, innovating new materials, accelerating drug development and more.”
More details on SGX3 will be revealed at future community meetings and during the Gateways 2022 conference October 18-20 in San Diego, California. Visit sciencegateways.org for more information. You can read more about the impact on SGCI clients in the SGCI Storybook.
SGX3 is supported by the National Science Foundation (grant number 2231406).