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CANARIE Announces Next Phase of Software Development Program Supporting Cutting-Edge Canadian Research

Posted
on May 1, 2013

A game-changing approach to help researchers access big data, tools, and peers to accelerate discovery.


CANARIE, operator of Canada’s Advanced Research and Innovation Network, today announced that the next round of funding for the Network-Enabled Platforms (NEP) program will be launched with a call for proposals in May 2013 and a subsequent call will take place in July. The program’s unique approach is based on the use of previously-developed and tested software elements to create new research platforms. This approach leads to more rapid development timelines for research software, which in turn has the potential to accelerate research discovery.

The official call will come later this month. Private and public sector researchers and software developers who are interested in the program should subscribe to the CANARIE mailing list to ensure they receive notification.

NEWS

As research becomes increasingly data-intensive and collaborative, software tools that facilitate access, modeling, visualization and collaboration are critically important. However, there is no single entity that manages the development of research software, resulting in a fragmented approach to the development of these critical research tools.

CANARIE’s Network-Enabled Platform program, which began during its previous mandate, funded 20 projects and resulted in the development of software tools enabling scientists across a wide spectrum of research domains to access, manipulate, mine and share data in real time over the CANARIE ultra- high-speed network. In recent months, under CANARIE’s Research Platform Interfaces (RPI) program, developers have been working to extract services, discrete sections of code that perform specific functions, which are compatible with multiple new research platforms.

The innovative RPI concept is that, rather than research software needing to be written from scratch, the research software developer will have access to an ever-increasing pool of services that are ready to include in their platforms. Much like the many millions of people who have set up personal blog websites in mere minutes and customized them by adding “gadgets” or “widgets” to a ready-made template, developers will be able to use the RPI services to shorten the time it takes to develop the full platform.

Under the RPI program, more than twenty services were developed, including services enabling (among others):

  • Data storage and retrieval
  • Data visualization
  • Resource/cloud management
  • Sensor management/data acquisition
  • User management/authentication
  • Workflow/service scheduling

Many of the services and platforms developed rely on the high performance computing capabilities of Compute/Calcul Canada, a critical component of the digital infrastructure supporting advanced research in Canada.

Further streamlining of the development process will occur during the next round of the NEP program in May, in which the development of additional services will occur while the platform is being developed, rather than afterwards.

The process will be iterative, with each successive round of NEPs producing more RPIs, which then are available for future use and refinement. The NEP program will also include a maintenance period, so that RPI services will be supported over a longer term.

Researchers and software developers should subscribe to the CANARIE mailing list and should contact Hervé Guy at herve.guy@canarie.ca or 613-944-5606 if they have questions.

QUOTES

“This is a game-changer for research software development,” says Jim Roche, President and CEO of CANARIE. “Rather than working in isolation, building from the ground up, developers will benefit from the excellent work that has already been done. Researchers, then, will see a shorter time between when they get research funding and when they are able to really see results from their work.”

“Software development is a significant component of the critical path for researchers,” notes Dr. Masaki Hayashi, Canada Research Chair in Physical Hydrology at the University of Calgary. “My research has benefitted from the aggregation of data and tools in the GeoCENS Network-Enabled Platform, and this approach to funding research software will enable more researchers to achieve their research goals in much shorter timeframes.”

BACKGROUND

During its previous mandate, the NEP Program awarded almost $28 million in funding to 20 exciting IT research projects across the country. From deep sea to deep space exploration, these research platforms enabled researchers to easily access and leverage valuable national and global resources to further their research objectives and increase Canada’s contribution to knowledge and discovery.

  • Active Network Interchange for Scientific Experimentation (ANISE)
  • Canadian Advanced Network for Astronomical Research (CANFAR)
  • Canadian Bioinformatics Resources as Semantic Services(CBRASS)
  • Canadian Brain Imaging Research Network (CBRAIN)
  • Canadian Space Science Data Portal (CSSDP)
  • Cloud-Enabled Space Weather Modeling & Data Assimilation Program (CESWP)
  • CyberSKA Canada
  • Data from the Deep, Judgments from the Crowds
  • Disaster Response Network Enabled Platform (DR-NEP)
  • GeoChronos
  • Geospatial Cyberinfrastructure for Environmental Sensing (GeoCENS)
  • Global Brain Imaging Research Network (GBRAIN)
  • Health Services Virtual Organisation (HSVO)
  • HEP Legacy Data Project
  • Oceans 2.0: A Platform to Create and Support Ocean Science Virtual Organizations
  • Online Network-Enabled Intelligent Transportation System (ONE-ITS)
  • Open Orchestra
  • Platform for Ocean Knowledge Management (POKM)
  • Science Studio
  • Service-Oriented Scientific Grid Computing (SOSGC)

 

For more information, please contact:

Wynn Anne Sibbald Communications Manager CANARIE
(613) 943-5432
WynnAnne.Sibbald@canarie.ca

About CANARIE:

CANARIE designs, delivers, and drives the adoption of digital infrastructure for Canada’s research and education communities. CANARIE keeps Canada at the forefront of digital research and innovation, fundamental to a vibrant digital economy.

CANARIE’s roots are in advanced networking, and CANARIE continues to evolve the national ultra- high-speed backbone network that enables data-intensive, leading-edge research and big science across Canada and around the world. One million researchers, scientists and students at over 1,100 Canadian institutions, including universities, colleges, research institutes, hospitals, and government laboratories have access to the CANARIE Network.

CANARIE also leads the development of research software tools that enable researchers to more quickly and easily access research data, tools, and peers. In support of Canada’s high-tech entrepreneurs, CANARIE offers cloud-computing services to help them accelerate product development and gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.

CANARIE, together with twelve provincial and territorial network partners, forms Canada’s advanced network alliance. This powerful digital infrastructure connects Canada’s researchers and innovators provincially, nationally, and globally to the data, tools, colleagues, and classrooms that are at the heart of prosperity in the digital economy.

Established in 1993, CANARIE is a non-profit corporation, with the major investment in its programs and activities provided by the Government of Canada.