30 November 2015, Brussels
The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) is envisaged as a stakeholder-driven infrastructure servicing science and innovation. More than a data repository, it will comprise technical elements of connectivity, hardware, repositories, data formats and API’s and it will offer access to a wide range of user-oriented services, data-management, associated HPC analytics environments, stewardship services and, notably, expertise. The EOSC is envisaged as a publicly governed endeavor, but given the scale foreseen and the need for long-term sustainability, parts of it will be realized in collaboration with the industry. High performance analytics environments and services may or may not be part of the EOSC, but will largely develop on top of well-defined and stable EOSC APIs.
The High Level Expert Group's (HLEG) first interim report highlighted that the data and governance challenges to realise an EOSC are at least as prominent as the technical ones. In fact, most of the building blocks of the EOSC are ‘floating around’ among the ESFRIs and research infrastructure communities and organisations. The interim report set a major task: the need to recognise the drivers of the current situation of sparsely connected or, in the worst case, completely isolated components, instead of a comprehensive and smoothly interoperating and user-oriented infrastructure that scientists from all disciplines use.
A stakeholders' workshop on November 30, 2015 addressed the challenges that currently preclude the evolution and establishment of an EOSC, answering two main questions: what are the obstacles currently preventing the occurrence of the EOSC and how can we overcome them? What are the expected/foreseeable benefits, at individual and global level, of an EOSC enhancing or federating existing data-infrastructures? A number of challenges emerged from the first meeting of the HLEG. At the stakeholders workshop, all constituencies with a stake in the EOSC gathered to address these specific challenges, to propose solutions and to clarify their potential role in the initiative.