The European Commission is launching two calls for proposals related to the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), the open and trusted environment for managing research data. With an overall budget of approximately €65 million, the two calls aim to consolidate the EOSC Portal and support interdisciplinary research and Open Science.

Logo of the EOSC portal: a cloud surrounded by 12 stars reminding the flag of the EU

These two calls for proposals (INFRAEOSC-03-2020 & INFRAEOSC-07-2020) are part of the Work Programme 2018-2020 of Horizon 2020, the EU funding programme for research and innovation. They aim at increasing the capacity of the EOSC portal, adding new functionalities and services, making it more inclusive, interoperable and secure, covering all phases of the research cycle, all scientific communities and widening its user base to the public and private sector. The calls will also ensure strong positioning of EOSC in the context of similar initiatives in other world regions to enhance international collaboration on open science.

These calls are complementary and are open for submission until 22 April 2020, 17:00 (Brussels time). Awarded proposals for both calls will have to build on the work of projects awarded under previous related calls and ensure EOSC’s long-term sustainability taking into account the recommendations of the current EOSC governance structure. Moreover, grants awarded are expected to carry out an analysis regarding energy consumption and environmental impact of technologies used in the context of the project. 

Call INFRAEOSC-03-2020

With a budget of €40,9 million, the awarded proposal will have to address the following activities all together, over a 30 months duration:

  • enhance operational aspects of the EOSC Portal to offer a user-friendly interface and ensure basic functionalities;
  • provide a framework to interact with all services and resources providers to ensure that their services are well integrated and in compliance with future EOSC principles, standards and values including the rules for participation and FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) principles;
  • interact with the EOSC end users (though feedback mechanisms and user behaviours’ analysis) to provide a highly usable service platform;
  • foster and enable secure composition of services and resources from different providers to offer new, more complex services tailored to the specific needs of researchers;
  • enhance the user experience with Artificial Intelligence techniques to advise users on the most suitable EOSC services according to their research profiles and needs;
  • define strategies and methods to attract and integrate new users;
  • widen the service offer with commercial services;
  • boost the impact and outreach of the EOSC Portal both geographically and across scientific disciplines and communities, develop the necessary skills for sharing resources, managing data and applying the FAIR principles in the context of the EOSC Portal and support the Research Data Alliance’s contribution to the EOSC.

More details and information on the scope and conditions of this call are available on the funding & tender opportunities portal of the European Commission.

Call INFRAEOSC-07-2020

With a budget of €24 million, the proposals should ensure a better federation of services and resources, multidisciplinary research and synergies with national and regional programmes to increasingly meet the researchers’ needs. All the grants awarded under this topic will be implemented in the same period so that the selected projects can coordinate themselves and work on potential synergies. 

Proposals should clearly identify one and only one of the following areas:

  • distributed and cloud computing resources enabling researchers and other users to process and analyse data in a distributed computing environment. 
  • data services providing cost-effective and interoperable solutions for data management and long-term curation and preservation. 
  • services supporting scholarly communication and open access to empower research communities with the necessary tools and functionalities for systematic publishing, analysing and re-using of scientific results beyond publications (data, software and other artefacts), as well as supporting long-term preservation and curation. 
  • above the net services enabling users to communicate, interact and collaborate effectively in a heterogeneous and distributed federated environment and empowering the work of cross-border virtual teams with different affiliation members. 
  • integration of services and resources from non-research public sector data providers to make them accessible through the EOSC Portal .
  • additional research enabling services that are not covered under any of the areas described above and do not overlap with existing services accessible through the EOSC Portal. 

Only platforms and services based on mature systems and technologies will be supported. More details and information on the scope and conditions of this call are available on the funding & tender opportunities portal of the European Commission.

Background

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, launched in November 2018, is the universal access channel to EOSC services and resources. Through the portal, researchers and professionals can access open and seamless services, data and other resources from a wide range of national, regional and institutional public research infrastructures across Europe. The portal facilitates interoperability of datasets and tools from different providers, and enables researchers to perform their work more quickly and disseminate their research results more widely.  It already covers a wide range of disciplines (e.g. medical and health, natural sciences, physics, earth sciences, arts, humanities, agriculture, and engineering). 

The portal 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.