The German government will officially launch D-Grid, an initiative to promote a grid-based communication framework for scientific research in Germany, at the Global Grid Forum in Berlin on Wednesday.

D-Grid has been under discussion since February 2003, as part of a planned transformation of Germany’s scientific research establishment to one based on “e-Science.” The aim of the e-Science transformation is to use IT to enable collaborative research by virtual, or geographically-dispersed teams, according to researchers involved.

The role of D-Grid in this is to create a durable grid computing infrastructure; to develop grid computing middleware; to establish information-sharing networks for e-Science, and to establish e-Science pilot projects.

Research centres behind the D-Grid project include the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, the Leibniz Rechenzentrum in Munich, the Alfred Wegener Institut in Bremerhaven, and the Zuse Institute Berlin. Companies including IBM Corp., Hewlett-Packard Co. and Cray Inc. have also been involved, according to minutes of preparatory meetings.

Initial D-Grid participants will come from six scientific fields: astrophysics and particle physics; computational science and engineering; medicine and bio-IT; climate research and earth sciences; high-performance computing; and science publishing.

Edelgard Bulmahn, Germany’s federal minister for education and research, will present D-Grid and the country’s e-Science plan during the opening plenary session of the Global Grid Forum at Berlin’s Humboldt University on Wednesday. Bulmahn is due to speak at 2 p.m. local time, and will hold a press conference after her speech, according to her office.

More information on D-Grid can be found (in German) at