Digital Infrastructure Summit 2012
June 13-14, 2012
University of Saskatchewan
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Digital Infrastructure Summit 2012?
Digital Infrastructure Summit 2012 is a working meeting of key stakeholders from universities, government, granting agencies, the research community and organizations responsible to provide or support key components of Canada’s digital infrastructure in support of research, education and innovation.
What is the objective of the Summit?
The Summit will provide all participants the opportunity to discuss and determine how best to improve digital infrastructure for researchers in Canada by “putting Canada’s researchers first.” The Summit will support a continuing dialogue among stakeholders, with a specific objective of identifying the actions required to show measurable progress toward a shared vision for a comprehensive, integrated and sustainable digital infrastructure and supporting ecosystem for Canada’s researchers by Summit 2013.
Who will be there?
75 representatives from stakeholder organizations and communities of interest including:
- Industry Canada, the granting councils (SSHRC, CFI, & CIHR), Genome Canada and universities (i.e. funders);
- Researchers representing the various types of research including big science, multidisciplinary and non-traditional users of computational research (i.e. users);
- CANARIE and the ORANs, Compute Canada and the HPC Consortia, University CIOs as represented by the Summit Steering Committee (i.e. infrastructure);
- Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) and the Research Data Strategy Working Group (i.e. data); and
- Individuals from within Canada and from other jurisdictions with specific expertise in digital infrastructure.
Why invitation only?
This is a focused working meeting with an ambitious, action-oriented agenda. As a working meeting, it is expected that the participating organizations will reflect the needs and perspectives of their various communities. The Steering Committee also recognizes the need to engage the broader community and is investigating appropriate mechanisms to inform and engage the community both before and after the Summit.
How were the participants selected?
The invitation list was developed to reflect the diversity of the issues, to engage the various stakeholder organizations involved in the funding and provision of digital infrastructure, and to ensure the needs of the community were represented. Twenty-five universities, as represented by the Vice Presidents Research, were selected based on the total research revenue as defined by Re$earch Infosource. Individual researchers were selected to represent the various types of research.
Are there specific outcomes identified for the Summit?
Yes. It is important that Summit participants be prepared to work toward the following outcomes:
- An agreed-to set of guiding principles and key characteristics for Canada’s digital infrastructure for research, education and innovation (i.e. the vision);
- A list of activities, including timelines and owners, to ensure we can show measurable progress toward the vision by the 2013 Summit (i.e. the action plan); and
- Agreement by the participants to the required action plan (i.e. a commitment to act).
Haven’t we already addressed these issues?
Canada has made major strides in providing key pieces of the national digital infrastructure ecosystem. Significant investments have been made to support connectivity within Canada and beyond (e.g. through CANARIE and the ORANs), in providing high-performance computing facilities (e.g. through Compute Canada and the various HPC sites), and more recently, progress has been made toward addressing the issues associated with “research data lifecycle management” (e.g. through the Research Data Summit 2011 and CARL’s National Data Infrastructure Initiative).
It is expected that work will continue in all of these areas (e.g. discussions and activities at the CANARIE Users’ Forum, Compute Canada’s strategic plan and supporting action items, action on the recommendations from the Research Data Summit and CARL’s continuing discussion toward a national data infrastructure). However, these efforts remain largely uncoordinated.
As a result, Canada does not have a national strategy or the enabling action plan required to ensure the availability of a comprehensive, sustainable and integrated digital infrastructure to support research, education or innovation. The needs of the research community continue to strain available resources to the breaking point. Canada’s ability to fully exploit current and future investments is limited. The ability of Canadian researchers to participate and/or compete internationally is also compromised.
Doesn’t CANARIE or Compute Canada have the mandate or responsibility to do this?
CANARIE and Compute Canada (and all of the various stakeholders including CARL, the Research Data Strategy Working group, the various funding agencies, individual institutions, etc.) have a mandate to ensure the availability of their specific component of the infrastructure. All are investing time and effort to ensure they meet the needs of the community. However, there is no one organization with the responsibility or mandate to ensure the availability of a comprehensive, integrated and sustainable digital infrastructure for Canada’s researchers.
How is this different from the Research Data Summit held in September 2011?
The Research Data Summit focused on the research “data” as a component of an overall digital infrastructure in support of research, education and innovation. The outcome of this initiative, along with the work of CARL toward a Canadian National Data infrastructure, will form the basis and foundation for any discussions relating to research data lifecycle management at Digital Infrastructure Summit 2012.
What is expected from the participants?
Participants will be asked to engage fully in the discussions at the Summit, support the shared vision and commit to the actions required to show measurable progress toward that vision by Summit 2013.
Where will the Summit take place?
The Summit will take place at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, at the close of CANHEIT 2012, Canada’s national conference for IT professionals in higher education. The meeting schedule will include an opening reception, dinner and guest speaker on Wednesday, June 13, followed by a day of working sessions on Thursday, June 14. Specific meeting rooms will be posted once they are confirmed. Here is a link to the campus map.
Who is leading this initiative?
Hosted by CUCCIO, Canada’s association of IT leaders in higher education, the Digital Infrastructure Summit 2012 Steering Committee members are:
- Jay Black (CIO, Simon Fraser University)
- Rick Bunt (CIO, University of Saskatchewan)
- Bob Cook (CIO, University of Toronto)
- Bob Gagne (CIO, York University)
- Ralph Michaelis, (CIO, Carleton University)
- Jonathan Schaeffer (CIO, University of Alberta)
- Bo Wandschneider (CIO, Queen’s University)
- Lori MacMullen (Executive Director, CUCCIO)
For more information about CUCCIO, please visit our website.