On 9-10 September 2019, the European Commission organised a workshop in Brussels to discuss the future of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) with relevant stakeholders. The workshop gathered around 100 invited stakeholders including EU-funded project representatives and members of the EOSC Executive and Governance boards.

Group photo all the workshop's participants in Brussels

This meeting was a premiere. It allowed a dynamic exchange between all the involved stakeholders to identity synergies, possible improvements and prepare joint activities for the benefit of all participants and the EOSC community as a whole.

The main conclusions of the workshop are the following: 

  • The users' requirements should guide the development of EOSC at all times. In order to achieve this, openness and transparency are needed in all steps of the process. 
  • The added value of EOSC relies on a serious and reliable AAI (Authentication and Authorisation Infrastructure) system, services to facilitate the discoverability and use of data and computing resources, availability of on-demand compute and storage capacity, but also a common data repository for long-term preservation of data, high speed connectivity for efficient data transfer and alignment with Euro High Performance Computing (HPC) for processing big data sets.
  • In its first steps, EOSC should prioritise availability and access to data, interoperability and federation. EOSC should provide generic core services that are needed across all research communities. 
  • In terms of governance, EOSC should provide a clearer framework with well-identified priorities and guidance, both at EU and national level. In order to achieve this, a strong coordination between the European Commission and the Member States is needed. The introduction of contact points in the Member States has been discussed to ensure a better follow-up on the respective developments. Moreover the lack of representation of the private sector has been underlined and should be addressed for instance via an industry advisory board. 
  • Other open issues such as the EOSC sustainability and business model(s)  have been identified as issues that need to be dealt with in order to ensure the successful development of EOSC. Furthermore, the rules of participation and implications in terms of certification, organisational and technical aspects should be addressed. In this regard, best practices and existing projects and programs are crucial and should serve as inputs.
  • Lastly, continuous efforts should be made to build an EOSC brand and, hence, communication and outreach activities should be increased in order to reach and positively engage all relevant community stakeholders and the wider public in these crucial times of development. 

 The full report of the event is available on the EOSC secretariat website.

Background

The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) is a trusted digital platform for the scientific community, providing seamless access to data and interoperable services that address the whole research data cycle, from discovery and mining to storage, management, analysis and reuse across borders and scientific disciplines. Supporting the EU policy of Open Science, EOSC aims to give the EU a global lead in research data management and ensure that European scientists reap the full benefits of data-driven science.

EOSC is part of the European Commission Communication European Cloud Initiative-Building a competitive data and knowledge economy in Europe , launched in 2016 to provide European science, industry and public authorities with:

  • world-class data infrastructure to store and manage data
  • high-speed connectivity to transport data
  • powerful high performance computers to process data.

The EOSC portal, officially launched in November 2018, is the result of the progressive integration and consolidation of e-infrastructure projects, with the help of Horizon 2020 funding. It is a collective effort by the OpenAIREEOSC-hubeInfraCentral and EOSCpilot projects that builds on the experience and technology of major pan-European e-infrastructures, universities and research infrastructures.