The EOSC Association held its first official General Assembly since becoming a legal entity under Belgian law following a royal decree and will represent European stakeholders and organisations in developing EOSC over the next few years.
The online event saw Karel Luyben from CESAER elected as the first president of the EOSC Association. A board of eight directors were elected, including Marialuisa Lavitrano, UNIMIB; Suzanne Dumouchel, CNRS; Klaus Tochtermann, ZBW, for a three-year mandate; Sarah Jones, GÉANT, and Ignacio Blanquer, UPV, for a two-year mandate; and Wilhelm Widmark, SU; Bob Jones, CERN, and Ronan Byrne, HEAnet, for a one-year mandate.
Set to become the entity that can enter into contractual agreements with the European Commission, the new EOSC Association, along with the Partnership Board and Steering Board, will work to develop the EOSC from January 2021 onwards.
With the ability to admit new members and charge membership fees, the establishment of the Association is a decisive move towards setting up the EOSC as a self-sustaining membership organisation away from public funding.
The online event saw the four organisations - CESAER, CSIC, GARR and GÉANT, the EOSC Association's founding members that are tasked with initiating the admission of new members - welcome and officially admit 142 total members, of which 21 nationally mandated organisations, and 49 observers. These members and observers are made up of research funding organisations, research performing organisations, service providing organisations and other organisations.
EOSC Association President Karel Luyben, who starts his 2-year term from 18 December 2020, said in a statement: "It is truly an honour to be elected the first President of the EOSC Association. In my role as Chair of the EOSC Executive Board, I have had the great pleasure to work with a community that is as vibrant as it is diverse. Looking back on what we have achieved in Europe by working together - with the EOSC Declaration as an important milestone in 2017 - makes me proud to be part of this EOSC community. While recognising how far we have come, it is also clear that grand opportunities lie ahead."
In a bid to become the open and trusted environment for accessing and managing research data and related services, the EOSC will transform how researchers access and share data and give Europe a global lead in research data management.
The EOSC will federate existing scientific data infrastructures, currently dispersed across disciplines and the EU Member States.
Supporting the EU's Open Science policy and European Data Strategy, EOSC intends to help European scientists reap the full benefits of data-driven science and give Europe a global lead in research data management.
Key features of EOSC will be its smooth access to data and interoperable services and its trusted digital platform that addresses the whole research data cycle, from discovery, mining, storage, management, analysis and re-use.
With open and seamless services for storage, management, analysis and re-use of research data across borders and scientific disciplines, EOSC aims to create a virtual environment for 1,7 million European researchers and 70 million professionals in science, technology, the humanities and social sciences.
Seeking to make digital assets findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR), EOSC will tackle societal challenges like early diagnosis of major diseases and climate change.
For more information about the EOSC Association, you can visit the official European Open Science Cloud website.