Analysing the implementation phase of EOSC with Association director Bob Jones

Home » News Opinion » Analysing the implementation phase of EOSC with Association director Bob Jones

Analysing the implementation phase of EOSC with Association director Bob Jones

Analysing the implementation phase of EOSC with Association director Bob Jones

23 Apr 2021 is contributing to a series of interviews with the EOSC Association Board of Directors, in coordination with the Communications Task Force of the InfraEOSC-05 Collaboration

We have exchanged a few words with Bob Jones (CERN, EOSC Association Director) on the main developments in the European Open Science landscape, as well as on the upcoming steps of the EOSC Association

Congratulations on becoming an EOSC Association Director, tell us about some of the activities you’ve been involved with so far.

Work started shortly after the general assembly in December 2020 focussing on the finalisation of the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) document and the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the EC which will be the basis for the EOSC Partnership.

In addition, I have been developing the future relationship between EOSC and GAIA-X. At a preparatory meeting held in March, data sharing, governance & compliance as well as high-level technical requirements were identified as common areas of interest. These will be explored more deeply at a follow-up event scheduled for 20th May.

I am also involved in the steering board of the project, so I have been acting as liaison for the Association’s board of directors. has shown great flexibility by extending the project for an additional 4 months to help the Association get up to speed and profit from the outputs of the co-creation activities.

What are the most relevant steps that Europe has taken in the field of Open Science in the first months of 2021?

The operation of the EOSC Association following the first general assembly has provided a focal point for stakeholders to come together in the pursuit of turning Open Science into reality.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for Open Science  and the publication of the Horizon Europe work programme for 2021-2022, using the EOSC’s SRIA as input, provides lots of opportunities to further the uptake of Open Science in Europe. Horizon Europe reinforces a number of Open Science policies that were piloted in Horizon 2020, such as open access to publications and management of digital research data generated by the projects in line with the FAIR principles. There is also the recently announced Open Research Europe, the open access publishing platform for scientific articles that present the results of research funded by Horizon 2020, and soon Horizon Europe.

Closer to home, here at CERN we have published a new open data policy in support of open science.

Can you give us an overview of the new EOSC Partnership?

The general objectives of the EOSC Partnership are:

  • Ensure that Open Science practices and skills are rewarded and taught, becoming the new normal.
  • Enable the definition of standards, and the development of tools and services, to allow researchers to find, access, reuse and combine results.
  • Establish a sustainable and federated infrastructure enabling open sharing of scientific results.

The EOSC Partnership is a Co-programmed European Partnership between the EOSC Association and the European Commission formalised via the MoU with a long-term common vision through to 2030. The SRIA will provide the basis for the development of the cooperation under the MoU. The partnership is governed by a Partnership Board and there is also a Steering Board composed of delegates from Member States and countries associated to the Horizon Europe Framework Programme in order to ensure that national policies and investments relevant to the EOSC are taken into account.

What role does the EOSC Association have in the next implementation phase of the EOSC and what are the priorities?

The EOSC Association provides a single voice for advocacy and representation for the broader EOSC stakeholder community by bringing together key stakeholders in the European research environment. The Association will promote the alignment of research policy and priorities with activities coordinated by the Association and across the many contributing projects.

The focus will be on building the Minimum Viable EOSC (MVE) as a vehicle for helping us achieve these priorities. 

How can projects funded to implement EOSC or different priorities for EOSC engage with the EOSC Association?

The Association is in the process of establishing a number of Advisory Groups where projects can contribute, present their results and receive advice/steers from the community. A consultation of the members and observers including webinars were held in February to scope the Advisory Groups and volunteers have been identified to prepare the charters by the month of May. There will be an open call for participants and the intention is to have the Advisory Groups get underway before the summer.

What are the main upcoming steps for the EOSC Association?

We are in the process of hiring a Secretary General and then a Chief Technology Officer so we need to find office space in Brussels where they can work. Getting the Advisory Groups up and running will also be an important activity involving many people, as well as preparing the EOSC Symposium 2021 which will be an online event scheduled for 16-18 June.

Register for the EOSC Symposium 2021

Read the other interviews in this series