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Working together for the realisation of EOSC: the infraEOSC 05 Collaboration Agreement

The EOSC Community recently took another crucial step on the road to the development and implementation of the European Open Science Cloud at the end of 2019, when seven key EOSC-related H2020 projects signed a Collaboration Agreement in support of the EOSC Governance.

The Agreement involved the projects in the INFRAEOSC-05-2018-2019 call: EOSC-synergy, EOSC-Pillar, EOSC-Nordic, NI4OS-Europe, ExPaNDS, FAIRsFAIR, and EOSCSecretariat.eu.

The Agreement provides a useful framework for all parties to collaborate on a wide range of topics, in order to enhance synergies in all mutual activities related to the EOSC, implementing the provisions outlined in their Complementary Grant Agreements concerning, among other things, access to complementary results and background. A Cross-Project Collaboration Board (CPCB) was established as well, featuring two members per each project.

The projects involved are the following:

  • EOSC-synergy will expand the capacity and capabilities of the EOSC by leveraging the experience, effort and resources of national publicly funded digital infrastructures in a coherent way, therefore acting also as an incentive for national resource providers. EOSC-synergy extends coordination to Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and the UK by harmonising policies and federating relevant national research e-Infrastructures, scientific data, and thematic services, bridging the gap between national initiatives and EOSC.
  • EOSC-Pillar aims to coordinate national open science efforts across Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, and Italy, ensuring their contribution to the development and readiness for the implementation of the EOSC. The vision is that national OS initiatives, either existing or under development, are the key to involve live user communities and research infrastructures in the creation of EOSC.
  • EOSC-Nordic aims to facilitate the coordination of EOSC relevant initiatives taking place in Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia and exploit synergies to achieve greater harmonisation at policy and service provisioning across these countries, in compliance with EOSC agreed standards and practices. By doing so, the project seeks to establish the Nordic and Baltic countries as frontrunners in the take-up of the EOSC concept, principles, and approach.
  • NI4OS-Europe aims to be a core contributor to the EOSC service portfolio, commit to EOSC governance and ensure inclusiveness at the European level for enabling global open science. The project supports the development and inclusion of the national Open Science Cloud initiatives in 15 Member States and Associated Countries in the EOSC governance. NI4OS instills within the community the EOSC philosophy and FAIR principles. It also provides technical and policy support for the on-boarding of service providers into EOSC.
  • ExPaNDS is the EOSC Photon and Neutron Data Service. It will expand, accelerate and support the data management and data services provided through the EOSC for major national Photon and Neutron Research Infrastructures (PaN RIs) in delivering world-leading science. This will be achieved through the collaboration and federation of 10 national PaN RIs from across Europe based on EOSC services in partnership with EGI, and will become a game-changer for the scientific user community. The project follows the FAIR principles and aims to harmonise efforts to migrate data analysis workflows to EOSC platforms, enabling them to be shared in a uniform way.
  • FAIRsFAIR aims to supply solutions for the use of FAIR data principles throughout the research data life cycle. Ensuring that research resources such as data, software, and services can be rendered and maintained FAIR is this project’s main contribution to the EOSC. FAIRsFAIR established the Synchronisation Force to maximise cost efficiency and eliminate duplication of effort, aligning and cooperating with initiatives that support building the EOSC.
  • EOSCSecretariat.eu works in support of the EOSC Governance towards the development of an all-encompassing EOSC, encouraging communities to actively take part in the co-creation process. In this collaboration, it acts as a facilitator for the activities of all the projects involved.

The projects agreed on a Joint Activity Plan, which will guide them over the next months. Overlaps and complementarities among projects were identified, as well as specific areas for potential cooperation, ultimately aimed at the development of a common strategy to synchronise activities with the EOSC Working Groups.

One of the first results of the collaboration was the creation of six Task Forces, which have already started working on specific topics with the support of the EOSC Secretariat:

  • Communications and Events: Aligning EOSC-related common messaging through information sharing between projects and mutual sharing of project news & results.
  • FAIR: Reviewing and standardising FAIR policies and guidelines in order to enable FAIR-aligned services and repositories.
  • Landscaping: Defining common targets and methodology for the National Initiatives landscaping activities.
  • National Policies and Governance: Collating, discussing and engaging with policymakers and national policies to foster the uptake of Open Science OS practices.
  • Service Onboarding: Discussing procedures and solutions to facilitate the flow of services stemming from involved projects into the EOSC Service Catalogue.
  • Training and Skills: Synchronising information by establishing shared training resources and common training events.

These Task Forces share many objectives with the EOSC Executive Board Working Groups and will frequently cooperate with them on specific tasks and activities.