The myGrid Consortium is a multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary, internationally leading research group focusing on the challenges of e Science-the use of computational resources that allows scientists around the world to collaborate to produce and analyse the vast amounts of complex data in disciplines as diverse as biology, chemistry, astronomy, physics, music and social science. This platform grant enables the consortium to sustain an internationally leading team of researchers working on the foundations of e-Science.
The consortium delivers e-Laboratory environments in which scientists perform virtual or in silico experiments. The consortium's flagship tools include Taverna, myExperiment and Utopia. Taverna is used to develop the scientific workflows that scientists use to gather and analyse data - these represent the experiments on, for example, the genes and proteins involved in diseases. The myExperiment Virtual Research Environment is social web site software for the social curation and sharing of scientific research objects, including workflows and in silico experiments. UTOPIA is a suite of scientific visualisation and analysis tools that brings together disparate data sources in an easy to use unified interface. Together these enable scientific investigations to be undertaken in a way that enables the scientist to concentrate on the science, a feat that requires basic research in computer science.
These E-Science tools are world leaders with 1000, 900 and 2000 users respectively - Taverna is used in some 350 organisations. Producing these tools necessitates foundational e-Science research in four main areas: the management of the knowledge in such environments; the production and management of the metadata, or descriptions, of the experiments and experimental holdings; the design, use and reuse of in silico experiments; and the exploitation of social networks to enhance e-Science. Explicitly engaging with users supports adoption, and it drives challenging, user-relevant research and development based on observed experience and real need.
The platform grant enables the consortium to retain key staff that help sustain this world leading effort in e-Science and Open Science - they are experts in scientific workflow management, semantic technologies, intelligent middleware and social computing. Crucially it also supports our participation on the international stage, and it allows pump-priming novel and innovative research projects that are the hallmark of the consortium.