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EOSC Symposium 2019: European Open Science Cloud on track to boost Europe's research capabilities by 2020

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 as part of the EOSC Symposium being held in Budapest, Hungary, between 26-28 November 2019 by key figures working on the EOSC.

Budapest was chosen as the venue for the EOSC 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.

The European Open Science Cloud is an initiative supported by the European Commission (EC) that aims to provide researchers, and science and technology professionals the means to collaborate on some of the world’s most pressing societal challenges like never before. The EC provides financial support to implement the EOSC by means of projects under the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation - Horizon 2020.

"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 stated, 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, Deputy Director & CTO at SRCE - University of Zagreb University Computing Centre, and e-IRG Delegate, stated.

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.

EOSC will:

  • foster best practices of global data findability and accessibility;
  • help researchers get their data skills recognized and rewarded;
  • help address issues of access and copyright and data subject privacy;
  • allow easier replicability of results and limit data wastage;
  • contribute to clarification of the funding model for data generation and preservation, reducing rent-seeking and priming the market for innovative research services.

These concepts promote the idea of opening up European research and innovation systems to move towards a reality where knowledge is created through global collaborations.

"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 stated.

"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", Ron Dekker stated.

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.

Ivan Maric stated: "European Member States and Associated Countries, by embracing e-Infrastructure coordination at the national level, by building strong national e-Infrastructure building blocks and by strong and concrete support of the FAIR principles concerning data and services, will make a crucial step to success of EOSC."

Alignment and synchronisation is key to the success of the EOSC and its governance. The EOSC Governance Board (GB) consists of representatives from the Member States and Associated Countries to ensure effective supervision of the implementation of the EOSC.

Work on the EOSC is steered by the 11-member EOSC Executive Board, a body of representatives from the research and e-infrastructures communities, appointed by the EC. The Executive Board is chaired by Karel Luyben, European Association of Universities of Technology - CESAER, and Cathrin Stöver, GÉANT. All Executive Board members are appointed in a personal capacity and represent pan-European organisations of relevance for the EOSC implementation.

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 on 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.

EOSC Symposium's complete programme and presentation slides are available at https://www.eoscsecretariat.eu/eosc-symposium-programme