EGI Virtual teams

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This page provides information about the Virtual Team framework and the NGI International Liaisons that have been established within EGI-InSPIRE, and about the Virtual Teams that exist within the EGI Community to engage with new user communities.


In 2011 the EGI-InSPIRE project revised its user engagement activities and defined a new structure for the NA2 work package within an updated Description of Work. The purpose of the restructuring is to improve the efficiency and flexibility of the interaction between the NGIs, and other organisations to achieve common goals in the field of "Engaging with New User Communities" (NA2 is titled Engaging with New User Communities).

The new structure consists of two key elements:

  1. Virtual Team framework: The Virtual Team framework enables NGI and persons to initiate and participate in short living projects (Virtual Team projects) that focus on well defined, non-operational activities around the production infrastructure. These activities cover areas such as Marketing & Communication; Strategic Planning and Policy Support; Community outreach and events for new users; Technical outreach and support to new communities. Virtual Team projects focus around new communities and/or sustainability. The framework allows the EGI community to plan all related activities in conjunction and collaboration with the NGIs. The VT project framework was developed within the NA2 activity of the EGI-InSPIRE project, but it is open for NGIs, countries and regions that are not involved in NA2 or in EGI-InSPIRE. These entities can join existing Virtual Teams or propose new Virtual Teams.
  2. NGI International Liaisons: The interaction between the NGI teams and on non-operational activities is undertaken through an "NGI International Liaisons"(NILs in short), who are responsible within the NGIs for the delivery and interaction of non-operational tasks. Non-operational activities cover areas such as Marketing & Communication; Strategic Planning and Policy Support; Community outreach and events for new users; Technical outreach and support to new communities. The role of the NGI International Liaison recognises the complexity and diversity of each NGIs yet the need for these NGIs to be involved in pan-European, coordinated, non-technical activities of EGI. It is not necessarily the NGI International Liaison who undertake any of the non-technical activities, but instead they make sure the appropriate individuals or teams within the NGIs respond to any particular activity or issue that arises. These activities and issues arise within the Virtual Team framework, typically as requests to join a new Virtual Team or to react to some issue identified by a Virtual Team.

What is a Virtual Team?

The skills needed for EGI to successfully engage as a community with new users exist in many different organisations within EGI-InSPIRE and in the broader EGI ecosystem. It is foreseen that different members of EGI want to participate in different types of targeted activities that directly or indirectly relate to engagement with new users. The individuals needed to carry out such a targeted activity can be brought together by a Virtual Team in EGI. Virtual Teams provide a flexible and dynamic means to rapidly bring together certain members of the community for a well defined series of tasks to meet a specific goal that needs to be achieved in a relatively short period of time (on the order of weeks or months) before being disbanded. The focus of these Virtual Teams will be to either directly increase the number of EGI users (e.g. through integrating a new application) or indirectly (e.g. by raising the profile of EGI and an NGI through a NGI hosted event for its users). Virtual Teams have members from multiple NGIs and carry out a targeted action within the following activity domains:

  • Marketing & Communication
  • Strategic Planning and Policy Support
  • Community outreach and events for new users
  • Technical outreach and support to new communities

Virtual Teams can be established and used to enable the development of a strategy for the long-term evolution of EGI, or to significantly increase both the diversity and quantity of users and communities exploiting the infrastructure for world class research. The application of the framework is limited only by the scope and imagination of the NGIs to commit resources to any particular goal. EGI-InSPIRE NA2 members can and should use their NA2 project effort through Virtual Teams in order to efficiently contribute to the coordinated, pan-European activities carried out by EGI in engaging with new users.

Who are the NGI International Liaisons?

These NGI International Liaisons are subscribed to the email list.

Country (NGI) International Liaison's name Deputy's name (if any)
France Genevieve Romier
Germany Torsten Antoni Wilhelm Buehler
Greece Kostas Koumantaros
Hungary Agnes Szeberenyi
Ireland David O'Callaghan John Walsh
Italy Daniele Cesini Alessandro Constantini
Israel Zeev Vaxman Fisher
The Netherlands Tom Visser
Poland Mariusz Sterzel
Republic of Moldova Peter Bogatencov Alexandr Golubev
Serbia Antun Balaz Dusan Vudragovic
Slovakia Ladislav Hluchý
Spain Miguel Angel Nunez-Vega
United Kingdom Claire Devereux John Gordon


Establishing a new Virtual Team

1. The request to form a Virtual Team can come from any NGI or The request must be sent to the email address and it must describe:

  • the title of the project
  • the goal of the project (What is its expected output?)
  • the resources being requested (What skillset does the Virtual Team aim to gather from NGIs?)
  • the potential value of the project to EGI
  • the expected duration of the project and effort required
  • dates for the final and any intermediate outputs

2. The request is reviewed by the NA2 taskleaders of EGI-InSPIRE based on clearity, completeness and achievability. The request is rejected if it is not clear, not complete or not achievable. The technical content is not reviewed at this stage. Rejected requests can be resubmitted after modification and/or improvement.

3. After a project is accepted it gets an entry in the "Active Virtual Teams" section of this site and a request to join the project is sent to the NGI International Liaisons. The NGI International Liaisons are making sure that the NGI as a whole or appropriate individuals or teams within the NGIs respond to the participation request. The NGI decision process is treated as a black box. Some NGI International Liaison may decide on their own on participation, others may need approval from NGI Coordinator or from NGI members. Note that because Virtual Teams have a relatively short lifetime (up to six month), the window of opportunity for NGIs to respond is expected to be short too.

4. The positive answer from at least two NGIs is enough to run a Virtual Team. Virtual Teams with one NGI cannot be active within the EGI-InSPIRE VT framework. The leader of the Virtual Team must be an individual from an NGI or from If the team is lead by an NGI member then an " buddy" is provided for the team to facilitate the integration into the EGI ecosystem.

Running a Virtual Team

  • The Virtual Teams need to run themselves and can choose management and meeting structure, methods and tools that are most suitable for them.
  • The leader of the Virtual Team must be an individual from an NGI or from with support from his/her hosting organisation. If the team is lead by an NGI member then an " buddy" is provided for the team to facilitate the integration into the EGI ecosystem.
  • Each Virtual Team has an entry in the EGI Wiki where - following a pre-defined template - the team must provide information about its goals, members and progress.
  • Each Virtual Team is provided with an email list under the domain.
  • Virtual Teams can use the EGI Requirements Tracker, Applications Database, Indico, Training Marketplace, Helpdesk and other user-facing services to track issues, applications, events, etc.
  • The Ibergrid consortium within EGI-InSPIRE will provide a CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) system for Virtual Teams and NGI International Liaisons.
  • The leader of each Virtual Team must send a weekly email report about "work achieved, work planned, overall progress, issues, additional support needed" to the address. The report should be succint (a few lines of text)
  • Each Virtual Team is expected to write blog posts in the EGI Blog based on its weekly reports.
  • Virtual Teams will be reported in the NA2 section of EGI-InSPIRE Quarterly Reports by the activity management.
  • Virtual Teams are expected and will be invited to contribute to EGI Newsletters, Leaflets, Workshops or other dissemination and marketing marterials and events.

Virtual Teams

Template to create a Wiki page for a new VT project: Template:VirtualTeamProject. See this page as an example of how to use the template: VT EGI Compendium