Scientific software is becoming increasingly important for the success of research and to generate new knowledge. However, the importance of codes for science has not yet been recognized at the national level. Also, the evaluation measures for research are not set in a way that would support sustainable work on scientific software. The situation is further complicated as the methods of conventional software engineering addressing an industrial context cannot be transferred one to one to scientific software. Therefore, Research Software Engineering (RSE) is forming as a new subject of investigation, in Europe, Germany and the Helmholtz Association.
In this context, the HiRSE concept (“Helmholtz Platform for Research Software Engineering”) sees the establishment of central activities in RSE and the targeted sustainable funding of strategically important codes by so-called Community Software Infrastructure (CSI) groups as mutually supportive aspects of a single entity.
In a first “preparatory study”, HiRSE_PS will evaluate the core elements of the HiRSE concept and their interactions in practice over the funding period of two years. One work package deals with the operation of CSI groups, in particular also for young codes, and a second one with consulting and networking. The goal of the preparatory study is the further refinement of the concept, which can then be rolled out to the entire Research Field Information, or, if desired, to the entire Helmholtz Association with high prospects of success and high efficiency.
This project is funded by the Innovation Fund of the Research Field Information of the Helmholtz Association as well as by the four participating partners.