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The main focus of this blog is to analyse the EU-CIP work under Objective 1: EU-CIP -analysis: enhance Europe’s analytical capability regarding research outcomes, technologies, and policies – foster data-driven evidence-based policy and innovation development. EU-CIP-ANALYSIS refers to the information collection, monitoring, curation, and analysis pillar of the project. It will collect, process, and provide rich, accurate, credible, up-to-date, and easily accessible information about research outcomes, technologies, standards and policies for resilient infrastructures. The collection and analysis of information will be based on the following more specific measures, as presented in the image above.

The main challenge in the current context is dealing with the fragmentation of information regarding research outcomes, research projects, technologies, policies, and standards for resilient infrastructures. The main problem is that information related to these topics is often scattered across various sources and locations, making it difficult for researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to access and utilize this information effectively. This fragmentation of information can result in duplication of research efforts, gaps in knowledge, and inconsistencies in policy and practice. It can also make it difficult for practitioners to identify best practices and emerging technologies for building resilient infrastructure systems.

Two major problems result from process information fragmentation. First, information captured in different sources can contradict each other, potentially resulting in highly problematic situations. Second, to obtain all available information, it is not sufficient to consult a single source but insights from multiple sources must be combined to obtain a complete understanding. This may be quite tedious, depending on the types of sources that are attempted to be combined.

The EU-CIP approach is to establish a data collection, information monitoring and analysis methodology and infrastructure, which will continually collect, analyse, curate, extract and present information and insights about resilient infrastructures. The project’s monitoring infrastructure is based on:

  • A standards-based Methodology for collecting, analysing and curating information, which will leverage a lightweight version of the well-known COIN (Context, Observation, Impact, and Next steps) methodology.
  • An on-line (“searchable”) observatory of CIP/CIR research outcomes, technologies, polices and standards.
  • Mechanisms for the validation of the findings based on external feedback from user groups and other stakeholders.

Designing a methodology and infrastructure for data collection, information monitoring and analysis is essential for continually collecting, analysing, curating, extracting, and presenting information and insights about resilient infrastructures. The key steps for designing such a system are described below:

  1. Identify relevant sources of information: The first step is to identify the sources of information that are relevant to resilient infrastructures.
  2. Develop data collection procedures: Once the relevant sources have been identified, data collection procedures need to be developed to automate the process of data collection from various sources.
  3. Establish data processing and storage infrastructure: The next step is to establish a data processing and storage infrastructure that can handle the volume and complexity of the collected data. This could involve setting up databases, cloud-based storage systems, and analytical tools for data processing.
  4. Implement data analysis and visualisation tools: Once the data has been collected and processed, analytical tools can be used to extract insights and identify patterns in the data. This could involve using machine learning algorithms to identify trends or natural language processing to extract insights from text data.
  5. Continuous monitoring and updating: The system should be designed to continuously monitor the sources of information and update the data collection and analysis procedures to ensure that the insights generated are always based on the most up-to-date and relevant data available.

A methodology and infrastructure for data collection, information monitoring and analysis is essential for continually collecting, analysing, curating, extracting, and presenting information and insights about resilient infrastructures. By implementing such a system, it is possible to stay up to date on the latest research findings, emerging technologies, and best practices in the field, enabling them to make informed decisions about infrastructure planning and management.

As part of this objective, EU-CIP will also design and establish advanced analytical capabilities that will extract foresight and insights about gaps in current knowledge and solutions, technologies that can address these gaps, as well as research outcomes and practices that can be employed. A variety of value-added reports (i.e., whitepapers, research/analysis reports) comprising the insights/foresight will be produced. Most importantly, the project will ensure the regular reporting of the findings (i.e., of the value-added reports) in ways customised to the needs of different stakeholders’ groups (e.g., the EC, policy makers, innovators, CI operators). Furthermore, the project guarantees up to date reports every six months, yet it will report findings in shorter intervals. The latter will be possible due to the well-structured and automated information processing pipelines of the project.

Well-structured and automated information processing pipelines can be designed to continually collect, analyse, curate, extract, and present information and insights about resilient infrastructures. Such pipelines can be designed to monitor various sources of information related to resilient infrastructures, including scientific research, ongoing projects, emerging technologies, policies, and standards. These pipelines can then process and analyse this information using various analytical tools, such as machine learning algorithms, natural language processing, and data visualization, to extract meaningful insights and identify potential gaps in knowledge or opportunities for improvement. The information processing pipelines can be designed to continually update and curate the information collected, ensuring that the insights generated are always based on the most current and relevant data available. The pipelines can also be designed to integrate with other systems, such as data management platforms and decision support tools, to ensure that the insights generated are effectively communicated and utilized by stakeholders.

The benefits of such pipelines are many. By continually collecting, analysing, and presenting information and insights about resilient infrastructures, organisations can stay up to date on the latest research findings, emerging technologies, and best practices in the field. This can help to identify potential risks and opportunities, optimise system performance, and make informed decisions about infrastructure design, operation, and maintenance. Well-structured and automated information processing pipelines can be a valuable approach for continually collecting, analysing, curating, extracting, and presenting information and insights about resilient infrastructures, enabling organisations to make informed decisions about infrastructure planning and management.

An important aspect of pipeline management is automation. An automated data pipeline is needed when large number of data sources and types of data are available. As the data sources and the type of data increase, the need for the number of data pipelines also increases. Automation can help in easing pipeline. It can also help in the faster execution and data extraction, and better coordination. In EU-CIP, a variety of information collection modalities will be considered in addition to traditional desk research, including Internal Consultation with Relevant Stakeholders inside the consortium, feedback based on questionnaires, as well as secondary research based on proper curation of the collected data. EU-CIP have planned regular consultation activities with the consortium members, which represent different CIP/CIR stakeholders in a variety of sectors.

To this end, internal consultation and feedback collection mechanisms have been developed. Desk research has been complemented with findings and information from regular consultations with internal stakeholders. To support feedback collection from such consultations, an information collection form has been provided. One of the main results reached following the EU-CIP approach is coming from the internal consultation process and desk analysis in the identification of the most important CIP/CIR trends.

This simple example demonstrates how a structured and automated information processing pipeline is essential for any organisation that deals with large amounts of data. Such a pipeline allows for the efficient processing and analysis of data, enabling organisations to make better-informed decisions.

ENG, March 2023

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