European Open Science Cloud: A Game-Changer in Research
Europe’s leading research institutions meet at the EOSC Symposium in Budapest to take stock in the EOSC’s progress
Implementation of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), a Europe-wide ecosystem that will empower millions of researchers and science and technology professionals through the whole research lifecycle, is on track for its full launch by 2020. This was revealed at the EOSC Symposium being held between 26-28 November 2019, in Budapest, Hungary.
Budapest was chosen as the venue for the Symposium, this year’s most significant scientific conference, because Eastern Europe became more involved and active in open science efforts in recent years. Organizing the Symposium in the region is an encouragement to this trend to continue.
As Dr. István Szabó, Vice President for Innovation and General Affairs of the Hungarian National Research Development and Innovation Office (NKFIH) said, “Hungary has taken steps towards open access in science, therefore, we have been supporting the EOSC initiative since the beginning. We expect that Hungarian researchers will be more embedded internationally.”
“EOSC will empower 1.7 million European researchers, and 70 million professionals in science and technology. This will be achieved through building a system based on cooperation and connecting Europe’s research infrastructures and e-infrastructures,” Ron Dekker, EOSC Executive Board Member and CESSDA ERIC Director said, adding that “EOSC embraces the transformative power of open science. It will enable interdisciplinary research and address Europe’s societal challenges. EOSC will support the Digital Single Market and stimulate innovation and the emergence of a competitive EU cloud sector.”
EOSC represents a key aspect of the EU Digital Single Market in terms of increasing digitization in society and putting Europe’s digital assets at the disposal of scientists. For science to achieve this, the perfect conditions are required and the EOSC is a key element of these conditions.
“EOSC is a trusted and open virtual environment for the scientific community with seamless access to services addressing the whole research lifecycle. Focused on researchers needs, inclusive and respectful of diversity, accessible to all, transparent and trustworthy, and governed by a minimal set of Rules of Participation, it represents a unique European game changer,” Ivan Maric, EOSC Governance Board Croatia Delegate and Deputy Director & CTO at SRCE - University of Zagreb University Computing Centre said.
The vision of EOSC was conceived in 2015, and a prototype was officially launched in November 2018, with access to initial services via the EOSC Portal. This first iteration of EOSC aggregates services from local, regional and national e-Infrastructures and service providers. For researchers, this means a broader access to services supporting their scientific discovery and collaboration across disciplinary and geographical boundaries. EOSC will take advantage of the existing infrastructure in Europe as it envisions a pan-European federation of data infrastructures built around a shared core.
“We are building EOSC as an attractive virtual platform, where science creators, science consumers and science policy makers come together for more insights, new ideas and more innovation. Data and service richness and diversity of EOSC have great potential in attracting many people thus creativity of new ideas will follow, benefiting Europe and its citizens,” Ivan Maric said.
“The establishment of the data cloud also provides space for innovation,” István Szabó added. “Researchers will provide their data and publications, and innovators will think about how to use them to address societal challenges.”
According to Ron Dekker, “EOSC is built in iterations. From involving the research communities to ensure an ecosystem built by the users, for the users, and based on FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) data principles. All this means not just developing a tool or a software, but enacting a cultural change at how research is produced.”
Building the EOSC requires Europe’s research institutions and infrastructures to align and co-develop the EOSC. This has been going on through the past years since 2017 and it becomes even more critical as we move towards the 2021 target.
As Ivan Maric said, “European Member States and Associated Countries, by embracing e-Infrastructure coordination at the national level, by building strong national e-Infrastructure building block and by strong and concrete support of the FAIR principles concerning data and services, will make a crucial step to success of EOSC.”
The EOSC Symposium gathers together the future beneficiaries and users of the EOSC. The event is co-organized by the EOSC Secretariat and other initiatives such as EOSC-hub, GEANT, OpenAIRE and PRACE in collaboration with the EOSC Governance Board, Executive Board and its Working Groups (Architecture, FAIR, Landscape, Rules of Participation, Sustainability). The symposium ensures the participation of the community in shaping the EOSC, supporting the work of the governance boards and contributing to the direction EOSC will take.