Workshop “University Networks shaping EOSC”: Synthesis of the takeaway messages

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Workshop	“University	Networks	shaping	EOSC”:	Synthesis	of	the takeaway messages

Workshop “University Networks shaping EOSC”: Synthesis of the takeaway messages

08 Mar 2020

Brussels, Belgium, 23 and 24 January 2020

The EOSC initiative aims at supporting more than 1.7 million researchers and boosting interdisciplinary research in Europe. To better understand what the European University Networks community needs, the EOSCSecretariat partner TU Wien is organizing a series of workshops and discussions. The second by- invitation-only workshop took place on 23/24 January 2020 in Brussels, at EFTA Palace. Five main University Networks (plus representatives of Switzerland and Turkey) were invited to brainstorm about the actual needs in their current work as well as about future needs and requirements concerning their activities. The findings of this workshop will feed directly into the work of the EOSC Governing Board, the EOSC Executive Board (EB) and Working Groups (WGs), thus provide input crucial for the development of the EOSC. Participants of the discussion get the chance to feedback the report until mid-February 2020. This first document is summarizing the main “takeaway messages” of the workshop. The full report will be available by the end of February.

As EOSC stakeholders, universities are highly relevant. All researchers are or were trained in research institutions and most research and the production is done in universities nowadays. In-kind contributions of universities are thus essential for the future EOSC. With the workshop “University Networks shaping EOSC”, the stakeholder group of universities were represented through their associations and networks. These groups were systematically involved in the co-creation process of EOSC. The workshop was a starting point for a more structured dialogue.

Synthesis of the takeaway messages

How will EOSC be Governed and Funded after 2020?

  • It is necessary to identify the services foreseen to be implemented in the first phase of the EOSC
  • Clarity is needed, especially for what the EOSC is (at the moment) and what it is not
  • The message should
    • be clear (one voice, not the voices of different projects and/or EOSC Boards) and
    • be adapted for different target groups/destinataries
  • There should be one single trusted website where the EOSC stakeholders get information, updates and news of the EOSC

Please note: There are also different target groups within universities (rectorates, ICT specialists and researchers speak different languages and have different strategic interests)

  • Currently there is a difference of readiness to join the EOSC in the Member States, so the development of the EOSC should be done carefully under the obligation that the divide across regions is shrinking and not increasing

In terms of the financial contribution to the EOSC it might need as many different structures as possible

  • For planning institutional/national infrastructures, it is important to understand how compatibility with other, existing infrastructures can be achieved
  • Information is necessary on which existing infrastructures plan to open up their services. E.g., what is the long-term plan for Zenodo? What is the long-term plan for the ESFRI infrastructures?

User Engagement referred to Organisations

  • EOSC message is not yet a clear message and needs to be re-defined
  • Key messages should maybe be about RDM, FAIR and open data, and how to do better research on a global scale. The EOSC is an enabling service and a ‘by-product’ of this vision
  • FAIR and open are ways of delivering that vision
  • EOSC is the layer of a seamless interoperability and a facilitator
  • Rules of Participation: There should be a discussion around costs (“we need to engage in discussions around that now")
  • University networks need to discuss and contribute how to engage (at national level, national platforms, by individual universities meeting stipulated criteria)
  • University networks need to ask the representatives of governance boards to engage directly with all potential partners in the EOSC enterprise. Currently, the perception is that this is not happening
  • Also the university networks are responsible to feedback the EOSC on what information they need and ways to disseminate it. In order to do so three channels were identified. The first channel is the Governance Board, the Executive Board and the European Commission where the university networks can come up with concrete questions and deliver them.

Networking and Collaborations of Universities

  • Definitions must be provided, e.g. how would you identify eligible participants?
  • How do define eligible?
  • “Ordinary” data sets (like small data sets) must be eligible
  • How to define participant? Who or WHAT is a participant?
  • What are the characteristics that participants should have?
  • Charter, rules of conduct must be transparent
  • Quality & trust: Who should be allowed to offer services to the EOSC? Who wants to fill the EOSC with data/services? And who allows this? How to avoid positions of monopoly?
  • Missing message: wherefore is EOSC needed?
  • It is unclear what exact purpose the EOSC should serve and what data will be available once the EOSC exists
  • How can EOSC be reached at local level? Which are the financing models? Provide input/help to member organizations
    • To keep in mind the role of researchers
    • To keep in mind: Researchers work beyond institutions – not only within their universities together with other institutions and countries
  • There is a lack of coordination between the 50 EOSC related projects. Due to the lack of transparency the enthusiasm of the universities’ researchers decreased
  • Continuation of workshops like this in order to enable university networks to be part of the EOSC- building process


The Workshop was organized by Paolo Budroni, Katharina Flicker, Juliana Giroletti, Andreas Rauber (PI), Barbara Sánchez, Bernd Saurugger (EOSC Secretariat/TU Wien) – Date of release of DOC: 14FEB2020

All related documents to the Workshop will be available in the full report, to be released in February 2020. Layout Version: 4MAR2020