Internal organization

In order to accomplish the set objectives and meet the required deliverables, the TCS Multi-scale laboratories, led by Utrecht University, adopted an internal work breakdown structure with 5 main tasks.

  • Task 1: Strategic activities and TCS governances (Task Leader: Utrecht University)
  • Task 2: Coordination and interaction with the community (Task Leader: Utrecht University)
  • Task 3: Interoperability with ICS and testing (Task Leader: Utrecht University)
  • Task 4: Data Services (Task Leaders: RomaTRE/INGV)
  • Task 5: Proof of concept and testing phase of Multi-scale laboratories services (Taks Leader: GFZ)

The TCS Multi-scale laboratories is led by Utrecht University. The management team is composed of a TCS Leader (Otto Lange, UU), a TCS coordinator (Elisa Calignano, UU) and contact persons for IT (Otto Lange, UU), Legal and Governance (Mirjam van Kan-Parker, UU), Financial (Elisa Calignano, UU) and Communication (Elisa Calignano).

Next to the management team, the TCS Multi-scale laboratories has adopted an internal work breakdown structure with 5 main tasks, led by four partners (UU, INGV, Roma Tre, GFZ). The task leaders, together with the management team, are responsible for the project progress and monitoring. All the other TCS partner are involved in the project by providing support and information necessary to achieve the TCS objectives.

The project plan is articulated in two distinct phases during the 48 months of the EPOS Implementation Phase (October 2015-October 2019):

  1. M1-M20 (led by the TCS Task Leaders (Utrecht University, GFZ Potsdam, RomaTRE University and INGV), in consultation with the TCS partners): i) elaboration of the Consortium Agreement with definition of the TCS governance structure, ii) metadata schema development, iii) Multi-scale laboratories IT platform design and implementation, iv) elaboration of the TCS cost model for the Operational Phase, v) elaboration of Trans-national Access Policy;

  2. M20-M48 (active participation of all TCS partners): i) once the platform is developed, data providers and data users inside the Earth Science community populate it with (meta)data, ii) the Consortium Agreement is signed and the TCS governing bodies become operational, iii) increased effort in engagement of new data providers, especially those that falls outside the EPOS ERIC perimeter, as well as user inside and outside the solid Earth Science community, iv) elaboration of Trans-national Access Policy and TNA pilot cases.

Multi-scale labs internal organization



Task 1 (Utrecht University) coordinates the strategic activities necessary to establish the governance structure for guaranteeing the long-term sustainability of the RIs involved in the TCS Multi-scale laboratories for data provision through EPOS.

The governance of experimental infrastructures, including facilities existing or in development will foster integration and trans-national usage of the major solid Earth Science laboratory centres.

The TCS Multi-scale laboratories will operate under a Conosrtium Agreement (CA), hosted in the Netherlands (Utrecht University). The consortium will be structured in a Consortium Board, serving as decision making body, an Executive Committee managing activities decided by the consortium board and representing the TCS, a User Committee and a Data Provider Committee. Utrecht University will provide operational management of the consortium and support to the Executive committee The CA will have a duration of 10 years after its effective date.

The TCS Multi-scale laboratories CA will be signed after services validation (validation of the TCS services will start in October 2017 and contitnue for 1 year). Until the CA is activated, the TCS will be governed under the structure defined in EPOS-IP, with Utrecht responsible for the coordination in consultation with the task leaders (GFZ, INGV, ROMA3) and partners.

The TCS Multi-scale laboratories is a starting community, and as such one of the main objectives during EPOS IP is to strengthen the network of laboratories to provide a solid base to reach out to other interested partners and to the general public. Utrecht University is responsible for Task 2,  which is concerned with ensuring communication at different levels.
The communication contact person acts as focal point for:

  • Coordination of upward communication toward EPOS management (together with the TCS Leader);
  • Coordination of downward communication towards TCS community at different levels: 
  • Outreach towards the potential users of TCS services, general public and external stakeholders.

Since the EPOS IP kick off meeting in Rome (October 2015) the TCS members met again in Prague (1st EPOS TCS-ICS Integration Workshop, March 2016), Vienna (EGU2016), Rome (1st Data Service Meeting, July 2016), Potsdam (2nd Data Service Meeting, September 2016) and Utrecht (February 2017). Moreover, the TCS task leaders meet regularly every month to discuss the project status, update on achievements in each of the tasks, solve problems, and agree on future actions.
The TCS Multi-scale laboratories actively participate to EPOS meetings and workshops to get updated on EPOS IP project status and future plans, connect with EPOS IP key players and other TCSs members, align with common objectives, expose community-specific issues and needs and exchange best practices related to different aspects of the project (technical, management, scientific).

Task 3, led by Otto Lange (Utrecht University), coordinates the activities aimed at guaranteeing the access to laboratory data and the provision of products generated in the laboratories.

The TCS Multi-scale laboratories, being a starting community, had the opportunity to design the TCS in a fully logical and compatible way, both from the metadata and IT perspectives. Setting up an infrastructure for sustainable data publications concerns the implementation of standard components and the adoption of best practices in use around the world. Central functional ingredients are especially the sustainable storage of data, assignment of DOIs, editing and exposition of metadata, and maintenance and editorial review. Besides these standard functionalities, for the TCS the presumed infrastructure must fulfil a very important additional high level requirement:

Data publication with TCS compliant metadata must be possible for every engaged lab, independent of locally available resources (IT infrastructure, information specialists).

This requirement formed the basis for the rationale behind the chosen infrastructure, because the Multi Scale Laboratories TCS concerns the engagement of research labs into a growing community. Populating the infrastructure with data, and the community with participants, together form the main goal for the TCS. Therefore, together with the Utrecht University IT-department, the following architecture was designed, one that exactly matches these goals and foresees in flexible scenarios for growth and ambition.

Curious to know how our architecture works? Have a look at the data services page!

One of the main objectves of the TCS Multi-scale laboratories is to make solid Earth experimental laboratory data easily accessible in a homogenised format, refereed, and thus ready to be used for new research.

The TCS Multi-scale laborattories brings together representatives of experimental communities having a hugely different set of instrumentations, scientific background and expertise. Even though all the laboratories work within the broad field of geo-materials and geological processes characterization, a coherent and effective structure for data inventory was lacking.

Task 4, led by RomaTRE and INGV, is working towards the standardization of already existing and newly produced data and data products, produced by the participating laboratories, into a coherent structure that can be accessed via the EPOS Portal.

The team of experimentalists involved in Task 4 has designed a community built flexible schema of metadata to be associated with raw products (level 0-2), providing a coherent structure for all the lab-related disciplines. The schema is designed to provide basic, but freely implementable, information on the products in order to enhance data discoverability and classification. Since researchers themselves primarily do the classification of lab data, the proposed schema has been designed to be as less time consuming as possible: the product is assigned with a DOI, which is tagged by a number of metadata, mostly in the form of keywords, which are the target of the query from the Central EPOS Hub.

The metadata schema is designed to be freely expandable in complexity, upon request from the Multi-scale laboratories community, for example with the possibility to create new keywords and adding the possibility to copy-paste metadata from one product to another to speed up the classification process.


Task 5, led by GFZ Potsdam, developes and coordinates two pilot cases for our future TCS Services: one for Virtual Access to data and one for Transnational Access (TNA) to laboratories.


  • As a proof of concept for Virtual Access to laboratory-derived data within EPOS, data sets related to EPOS are published open access (cc-by licence) and doi-referenced with the GFZ Potsdam Data Service. The data publication service includes the editorial data management including licensing and doi-assignement, safe storage and curation of the data on GFZ servers to ensure a sustainable long-term data availability. The currently available datasets comprise various data and data products from analogue modelling experiments and rock analogue material property tests. The data sets include all relevant formats ranging from raw data in table format to images, plots, maps and figures as well as movies and scripts (software) for data processing and post-processing. The metadata schema developed in Task 4 has been implemented using a modified version of the GFZ metadata editor. A complete and updated list can be found here


  • As a proof of concept for Trans-national Access to research facilities a pilot case will be run in 2017 by Utrecht University and GFZ. Several installations from their analytical and experimental facilities will be accessible free of charge or at reduced fee and partly with travel support. A first call has been recently launched and can be consulted here. Applications will be reviewed and selected by a scientific committee following transparent rules and policies which are compliant with EPOS TNA policies which are currently under development in cooperation with the EPOS Harmonization group.


The two services will serve as the base for the testing phase starting in October 2017.