There are numerous areas of science, industry and commerce that require broad international cooperation for their success. A number of problems may be addressed by using sophisticated equipment and top-level expertise, which is often locally unavailable. Therefore, the development and dissemination of techniques and technologies that allow virtualized, remote and shared access to industrial or scientific instruments is essential for the progress of society. The possibility of using scientific or industrial equipment independent of their physical location helps in the equality of opportunity for and unification of communities and subsequently opens new opportunities for industry, science and business. Furthermore, it has a very important political and strategic impact, as we head towards a more unified Europe.
Distributed computational environments like Grids play significant role in process of instrument virtualization and integration with computational resources in order to facilitate results processing and analyzing. That is why discussion concerning general framework and architecture of systems which allow expedite developing of new virtual laboratories is so desirable today. Remote instrumentation systems are often and often perceived as something more than managers of computational resources. They are responsible for aggregation of measurement instruments and pervasive large-scale data acquisition. Moreover they provide advanced workflows and tools for collaboration work. From this point of view the functionality of a grid architecture allows managing, maintaining and exploiting heterogeneous instrumentation and acquisition devices in a unified way, also by providing standardized interfaces and common work environments to their users. This is achieved through the properties of isolation from the physical location and from the peculiarities of the instrumentation, granted by standard middleware, together with secure and flexible mechanisms to seek, access, and aggregate distributed resources.