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Name of Collaboratory :


BiG Grid, the Dutch e-Science Grid


URL :  

Collaboratory Status :

Operational   Start Date : 2007 End Date : Info Last Updated : Wed, Dec 8 2010 1:01am PST

Primary Collaboratory Function :

  Community Infrastructure Development  

Secondary Collaboratory Functions :


Domain(s) :

  Applications from a wide range of research topics share the common BiG Grid infrastructure. They include Astronomy, Earth Sciences, Humanities, Life Sciences and Medicine, and Physics.  

Brief Description of the Collaboratory :


Access to advanced ICT research infrastructures is crucial to scientific research communities. Historically, NCF has facilitated access to high-end computing equipment (national supercomputer and national compute cluster). The BiG Grid project (led by partners NCF, Nikhef and NBIC) aims to set up a grid infrastructure for scientific research. This research infrastructure contains compute clusters, data storage, combined with specific middleware and software to enable research which needs more than just raw computing power or data storage.


Access to Instruments :

  Researchers can apply for access to grid infrastructures like compute clusters (computing time), data storage facilities, supported by grid middleware and software.  

Access to Information Resources :


Access to People as Resources :

  Researchers can also apply for human support through their support and development programme, ("how BiG Grid can help you make the most of e-Science.")

They also have annual User Days and annual All-Hands Meetings.

Funding Agency or Sponsor :

Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO)

Notes on Funding Agencies/Sponsors:

Organizations with Funded Participants:
Organization name:
Approx # of participants:
Description of organization's role(s):
National Institute for Subatomic Physics (NIKHEF)
Project partner. One of the central facilities comprising the bulk of the hardware resources. Caters more for research at the high-energy physics institute in the Netherlands.
Netherlands National Computing Facilities Foundation (NCF)
Project partner.
Organizations Otherwise Associated:
Organization name:
Approx # of participants:
Description of organization's role(s):
University of Groningen
   Donald Smits Center for Information Technology
Operational Partner. One of the central facilities comprising the bulk of the hardware resources.
George Washington University
Georgetown University
HealthCare IT, Inc.
Philips Research
Operational Partner. One of the central facilities comprising the bulk of the hardware resources.
Sara Computing & Networking Services
One of the central facilities comprising the bulk of the hardware resources; Primary location of large-scale storage. Operational Partner. The SARA site is being used for structured data production and long-term archiving

Notes on Participants/Organizations:
Another project partner is the Netherlands Bioinformatics Centre (NBIC), which is a collaboratory entry in this database.

Complementing the central facilities, twelve small scale computing and storage clusters are located within centers for life science research throughout the Netherlands (mainly academic hospitals), targeted at the NBIC researchers.

BiG Grid is founded on two pillars: large-scale infrastructure on the one hand, and the support and development to enable research applications to use e-Science and the deployed BiG Grid infrastructure on the other hand. The Executive Team coordinates both activities and is responsible for the day-to-day running of the project, under mandate from the Directorate which oversees the project as a whole. the Supervisory Council periodically assesses the progress of the project.

The operations team is responsible for Infrastructure and the installation and running of the compute and storage systems. The Central Facilities are located with one of the four cour partners (SARA, Nikhef, Philips Research/HTC and RUG-CIT), the Distributed Facilities are dispersed throughout the country and act as (seed) resources in various universities and hospitals, primarily for the Life Sciences community.

The support and development team is responsible for the analysis, design and implementation (in-house or elsewhere) of the software environment. Following a testing and certification process, new services and software are deployed on the operational infrastructure. Ranging across the entire problem-solving chain, it can entail enything from adaptations of an existing framework of an application, through to the core infrastructure services. This S&D team is also in charge of liaising with the user community and the development of new application leads.

The Executive Team is in charge of the day-to-day running of the project. It consists of people with a large range of expertise and experience, to make sure that all application needs with respect to BiG Grid are represented.


Communications Technology Used :


Technical Capabilities :

  Key Articles :    

Project-reported performance data :

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