GAIA Data selected for EquipEx+ call for expressions of interest under the PIA3 future investments programme


The Data Terra, CLIMERI-France and PNDB research infrastructures have joined forces to lead the GAIA Data project designed to develop a data and services infrastructure for observing and understanding the Earth system, biodiversity and the environment. Frédérique Vidal, the Minister for Higher Education, Research and Innovation, announced last 18 December the selection of GAIA Data among the A+ projects ready to receive funding.

Scientific equipment vital to make French research competitive

The government has long invested to fund scientific equipment through EquipEx actions under its PIA future investment programme. The ESR/EquipEx+ action aims to give the French research community the vital equipment it needs to sustain international standards of excellence. This action, closely tied to the digital transformation of research and innovation, also seeks to build foundations by nurturing synergies between teams and disciplines, and between the public and private sectors.

These will undoubtedly prove key assets in an increasingly competitive international arena.

The GAIA Data consortium

The GAIA Data project is built around a partnership between three digital research infrastructures focused on the Earth system and environment domain:

Data Terra organizes integrated access to observation data, products and services covering the different components of the Earth system and their interactions.

CLIMERI-France is the national climate modelling infrastructure whose mission is to produce international numerical simulations for the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and make their results available to a range of users in France and abroad.

PNDB, the national biodiversity data centre, aims to federate existing data approaches within ‘living Earth’ research infrastructures.

The 21 partners involved in the project are CNRS (coordinator), CNES, Ifremer, IRD, BRGM, IGN, INRAE, Meteo-France, the National natural history museum, CEA, IPGP, CINES, Sorbonne University, Grenoble-Alpes University, University of Lille, Federal University of Toulouse, UNISTRA, SHOM, OCA, FRB and CERFACS.

From data to Earth system knowledge: handling exponential growth of data and diversity

GAIA Data’s goal is to develop a distributed structure for accessing and processing FAIR* data, products and services geared towards observing, understanding and predicting in an integrated manner the history, workings and evolution of the Earth system in response to global changes.

* Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable

The project will meet the scientific challenges of multidisciplinary and multiscale approaches to the Earth system, encompassing the atmosphere, ocean, land surfaces, Earth’s interior, ice and biodiversity components.

The structure will span the full data cycle from acquisition through to storage, processing, cross-correlation, access and dissemination.

An open and interoperable platform will afford transparent access to heterogeneous data sources—satellites, survey campaigns, in-situ devices, inventories, observatories and experiments—so that they can be extracted and combined, regardless of their nature and how or where they were collected, to develop valuable products and applications for all components of the Earth system.

Evolving services scaled to the needs of scientific communities, public stakeholders and the socio-economic sphere will also be offered.

The international panel selected 50 projects that will share an overall budget envelope of €422 million. GAIA Data is one of 18 projects graded A+. Discussions are now underway with teams at the Ministry for Higher Education, Research and Innovation and the national research agency ANR to finalize funding.