Australian Access Federation’s (AAF) Head of eResearch, Sarah Nisbet, and eResearch Portfolio Manager, Nick Rossow, hosted a study tour in March to visit exemplar trust and identity facilities in Europe.

About the EU Research Infrastructure Tour

Sarah and Nick were joined by representatives from the National Imaging Facility (NIF) and ACCESS-NRI who are currently working with the AAF to implement trusted identity access across their organisations and services.

The tour included visiting world-class research facilities, collaborating with international counterpart experts, and gaining insights that will enhance the quality and impact of Australia’s national research infrastructure.

The tour kicked off with a meeting with the trust and identity team at CERN and touring the CERN Data Center, Science Gateway and the Large hadron Collider (LHC) control room. 

The group were also hosted by SURF, a cooperative association of Dutch educational and research institutions. We learnt about their trust and identity solution for research collaborations, and they shared great insight into functionality possibilities. SURF showed the group around the Amsterdam Data Tower – a facility which hosts a Tier 0 High Performance Computer (HPC) and LHC data grid. 

The tour also visited the National Institute for High Energy Physics (Nikhef)‘s data centre, which is the seventh most connected network hub in Europe. 

The tour concluded with a visit to ASTRON, the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy. Astron operates LOFAR (Low Frequency Array), the largest radio telescope operating at the lowest frequencies that can be observed from Earth. As LOFAR is a precursor to the Square Kilometre Array, it was a valuable trip to understand the data and access challenges and how they are being solved.  

The AAF thanks the teams at CERN, SURF, ASTRON and Nikhef for generously sharing their time and insights with the study tour. 

Sarah and Nick at CERN