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News 20 October 2021

EERAdata project grows stronger with a new workshop focused on advancing FAIRification of data in the energy sector

The third workshop of the EERAdata project was organised jointly with the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) transversal Joint Programme (tJP) Digitalisation for Energy (DfE) as part of their annual conference.


Between the 12 and the 14 October 2021, EERAdata and transversal Joint Programme Digitalisation for Energy stakeholders gathered for three days to discuss and develop FAIR workflows for large-scale data, synthesise community insights and formulate action points. This meeting followed the successful exercise carried out last year that led to a peer-reviewed community paper . During the workshop, the activities of the tJP Dgitalisations for Energy were presented, together with the activities of the different JPs involved in the transversal Joint Programme.

With 60 participants taking part, the event was opened by Giorgio Graditi, Head of Department Energy Technologies and Renewable Sources, from ENEA. It was followed by an intervention of the European Commission in the person of Vincent Berrutto, Head of Unit 'Innovation, Clean Technologies and Competitiveness', DG ENER, who offered a detailed perspective on the current EU energy policy context. Adel El Gammal, Secretary General of The European Energy Research Alliance (EERA), brought the association's vision on the Clean Energy Transition in the view of its recent launched white paper. Within this context, and as the Alliance takes an interdisciplinary, holistic, and cross-sectoral approach towards climate neutrality, Rafael Mayo García, Joint Programme Coordinator of the tJP DfE presented the work in digitalisation as a cross-cutting effort involving several existing initiatives within the community.

Later in the day, Edouard Audit (CEA) and Valeria Jana Schwanitz (HVL) presented the tasks conducted at their respective sub-programmes of tJP DfE, namely High-Performance Computing (HPC) and Data Science & Artificial Intelligence. In her intervention, Prof Schwanitz, also PI of the EERAdata project, highlighted that "without machine-actionable data, AI applications and harnessing the value that lie in large-scale and interdisciplinary data for the low carbon transition will be impossible". She also emphasised the work of the EERAdata project consortium, which is playing a crucial role in reaching relevant stakeholders and discussing machine-actionable data standards through the analysis of different use cases. The first day of the workshop was closed by presentations on the OntoCommons Project, by Yann Le Franc (e-Science Data Factory) and the future EuroHPC ecosystem, by Rosa M. Badia (BSC).  

The second day was divided into several thematic blocks. The first one was devoted to perspectives on HPC and data challenges faced by the EERA transversal Joint Programme in Digitalisation for Energy. The sessions were mainly focused on the activities carried in the transversal sub-programmes: 1) Digitalisation challenges for an effective Energy Systems Integration; 2) Seeking for new/improved materials for energy transition, the impact of HPC and digitalisation use; 3) The role of digitalisation at the development of sustainable hydropower; and 4) Digitalisation in nuclear materials research: facts and challenges. To conclude this section, the EERAdata project presented the progress made on the development of the EERAdata platform, which shall serve as an entry point for energy data and FAIR data services.

The second block was devoted to the EERAdata use cases. Mehmet Efe Biresselioglu (IUE), leader of the use case "Buildings Efficiency", presented FAIRification challenges through evidence from real-life implementations. August Wierling (HVL), leading use case "Energy Markets", shared an approach for FAIRification put into practice – The FAIR implementation of the COMETS inventory on energy communities across Europe. For its part, the "Materials for energy" use case leader, Massimo Celino (ENEA), brought forward experiences with establishing FAIR workflows for the material science database. While, finally, Mariusz Kruczek and Małgorzata Markowska (GIG), from the use case "Energy and energy efficiency policies", contributed to the thematic block with a perspective on the challenges in implementing FAIR principles in the energy policy domain.

The afternoon of the second day kickstarted with two breakout groups discussions. One focused on FAIR data challenges of individual level data through cases and evidence from H2020 projects, and another focused on discussing solutions for technical challenges in the FAIRification process, such as integrating standards and supporting data workflows. Two plenary sessions followed the group discussions. FAIR data challenges in energy and energy efficiency policies collected feedback from data users and stakeholders to prepare a draft for a community survey for user interests. The plenary session EERAdata platform implementation strategy posed the question on which FAIR data services and tools to offer inside the platform. The primary outcome of the latest were key inputs for the action plan to start preparing the upcoming EERAdata Workshop 4 in 2022.

To conclude the third workshop, the EERAdata consortium hosted two additional sessions to summarise the inputs received in the previous days. The questions that guided the discussion aimed at developing perspectives across use cases and revolved around how to advance the state of FAIR in the use cases and the plans for uploading use cases demos to the European Science Cloud. The final plenary zoomed in on the Digitalising the energy sector – EU action plan to which EERAdata has been invited to provide feedback before January 2022.


Watch the recordings of the workshop: Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3