I like to think open science as simply good science: transparent, accessible, responsible.
-Commissioner Carlos Moedas-
Open Science – Open Data – Open Innovations
At the margins of the opening ceremony of the new academic year, the University of Helsinki hosted a Citizens' Dialogue with Commissioner Moedas. The Dialogue was focused around open science- open data and open innovations, topics that lay very close to the heart of the audience that consisted mainly of academics, university students and entrepreneurs.
The Commissioner opened the Dialogue explaining that discussing with citizens for him means to talk about the "invisible Europe". All the things that Europeans share and take for granted, including the things that were the origins of the European Project: peace and prosperity. At the same time the Commissioner also solicited the audience to ask about any topic – be it migration, the Euro, Greece, or any other subject where they feel they would like to better understand the position of the European Commission.
Turning to the topic of Open Data the Commissioner explained that "openness is the precondition of success and innovation", a statement that received much positive echo from the audience. Director Kristiina Hormia-Poutanen insisted that different stakeholders at all levels need to participate to make open access happen. The Commissioner continued by warning: "if we don't change the paradigm pay to read to free to read- we are making the wrong choice". The subsequent lively debate and the responses to the voting question made it clear that opening research data fosters scientific excellence and innovation.
The discussion continued on questions of funding, which gave Commissioner Moedas the opportunity to explain the concept of the Investment Plan, how it was linked to the knowledge economy and how the EFSI will help gathering the missing venture capital. He stressed the need for creating a European environment that is more favourable to private investment. Responding to the Commissioner's request for feedback, participants highlighted the role of the entrepreneur as the link between the EFSI and the world of research. Valto Loikkanen stressed the necessity of digitalising investment to make it more democratic. He added that if IT researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs interact early enough, they can make miracles.
At the end of the Dialogue 55,9% of the participants felt their knowledge about the EU has improved, while the Commissioner ensured the audience that the Commission will continue to dialogue with Europeans.