European Open Science Cloud (EOSC)

This is a cloud for research data in Europe. Background, policy information, events and publications related to the EOSC


Deed of association of the new EOSC Association signed on 29 July 2020

7 August 2020

The Commission services were informed that the European Open Science Cloud Association (EOSC Association) was established on 29 July 2020 as a private law body with public service mission under Belgian law.

This is a major step towards the implementation of EOSC under the Horizon Europe Framework Programme and beyond.

The EOSC Association is expected to play a crucial role in gathering, in a single forum, EOSC stakeholders such as research funders, policymakers, research performing organisations and operators of research infrastructures in order to actively contribute to and monitor the future EOSC developments.

A strong cooperation between the Commission and the newly-founded EOSC Association can start now. This cooperation is expected to take the form of a co-programmed partnership between the Commission and the EOSC Association, in which Member States and countries associated to the Horizon Europe Framework Programme will be appropriately involved.

The Commission services are pleased with these news and are looking forward to working with the EOSC Association and to contributing to make EOSC a reality.


Help shape the future of EOSC

31 July 2020

A public consultation focussed on shaping the future of the EOSC has been prepared and put online by the EOSC Executive Board.

This consultation aims at helping defining the priorities of the future Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (2021-2027) supporting the EOSC implementation after 2020.

Open consultation for the EOSC Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (Deadline 31 August)


The EOSC partnership proposal is now published

11 June 2020

The draft EOSC partnership proposal, one of the 49 proposed European Partnerships under Horizon Europe, has now been published. It aims to accelerate the deployment and consolidation of an open, trusted, virtual, federated environment in Europe to store, share and re-use research data across borders and scientific disciplines and provide access to rich array of related services. The Partnership will bring together institutional, national and European initiatives and engage all relevant stakeholders to jointly develop a science commons where data are Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable (FAIR) and where research-enabling and other services are made available throughout Europe. This European contribution to a “Web of FAIR Data and Related Services for Science” will enhance the possibilities for researchers to find, share and reuse publications, data, and software leading to new insights and innovations, higher research productivity and improved reproducibility in science.

For any enquiries about the partnership: RTD-EOSC@ec.europa.eu

Next steps

As the mandate of the current interim EOSC governance will come to an end on 31 December 2020, a new legal entity, the EOSC Association, is expected to be set up later this year to represent European stakeholders in a collective manner. It will be the party to the Contractual arrangement/Memorandum of Understanding with the European Commission for the European partnership. The Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) of the Partnership will be available for public consultation this summer. All organisations interested to join the Association, and hence fully involved in developing EOSC jointly in Europe over the coming years, are invited to express their interest through this registry. Further details on the process of joining the Association at this initial stage can be found in this blogpost from Cathrin Stöver, EOSC Executive Board Co-chair.

Once the EOSC Association has been established – and provided that the proposed Partnership will be assessed positively against the selection criteria by the European Commission – the Contractual arrangement/Memorandum of Understanding will be signed between the EOSC Association and the European Commission to officially launch the EOSC partnership towards the end of 2020.


EOSC strategic implementation plan published

25 July 2019

The first report of the Executive Board of the EOSC presents the activities that will contribute to the implementation of the EOSC, with action lines and timelines for the period 2019-2020. Whist this document is primarily intended for use by stakeholders engaged into building EOSC, future documents will be developed and made public for use by research communities which will be the primary users of EOSC capabilities.


The reports "Prompting an EOSC in practice" and "Turning FAIR into reality" have been published

20 November 2018

In the perspective of the launch of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) implementation phase 2018-2020, two important reports are being published by the Commission that constitute major sources of strategic orientations and concrete actions for the new EOSC governance structure:

The report "Prompting an EOSC in Practice" covers on a number of crucial elements of the EOSC, from defining the Minimum Viable Research Data Ecosystem, to establishing the main Rules of Participation; also paying attention to issues as Governance and possible Business Models. The report analyses various aspects of how the EOSC can effectively interlink People, Data, Services and Training, Publications, Projects and Organisations and presents a set of detailed practical recommendations – for implementation, engagement and steering – which will serve as a valuable input for the EOSC governance.

The report "Turning FAIR into reality" describes the broad range of changes required for the implementation of the FAIR data principles. It offers a survey and analysis of what is needed to implement FAIR and it provides a set of concrete recommendations and actions for stakeholders in Europe and beyond. By following a holistic approach, the FAIR Data EG provides a template for key changes in the practice and culture of research and the implementation and normalisation of certain technologies and practices.

Both reports have been produced following a wide and open consultation of the scientific communities in 2018.


Overview of the EOSC Strategic Implementation Roadmap

24 May 2018

After the adoption of the Implementation Roadmap for the European Science Cloud (Staff Working Document SWD(2018) 83) on 14 March 2018 and in order to introduce, illustrate and update the information in this document with the latest developments, the following presentations give an overview of the implementation roadmap.

Please note that the information and views set out in this presentation do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union and are published for illustrative purposes only.

Presentations


Implementation Roadmap for the European Open Science Cloud

14 March 2018

The Commission adopted on 14 March 2018 the Implementation Roadmap for the European Science Cloud (PDF icon 987 KB) (SWD(2018)83).

Overall, the document presents the results and available evidence from an extensive and conclusive consultation process that started with the publication of the Communication: European Cloud initiative (COM(2016)178) in April 2016.

The consultation upheld the intervention logic presented in the Communication, to create a fit for purpose pan-European federation of research data infrastructures, with a view to moving from the current fragmentation to a situation where data is easy to store, find, share and re-use.

On the basis of the consultation, the implementation Roadmap gives and overview of six actions lines for the implementation of the EOSC:

a) architecture, b) data, c) services, d) access & interfaces, e) rules and f) governance.

Specifically regarding the latter, the Roadmap presents a governance framework and a governance structure that emerged from the consultation, as a basis for further discussion with Member States. This was foreseen explicitly by the Communication.

The document describes the measures taken under Horizon 2020 Work Programmes to start implementing the EOSC. The financing of the EOSC is secured until 2020 through the Horizon 2020 Work Programme (including €300 million to support the development of the EOSC federating core and open FAIR data pilot), and based on the additional commitments of stakeholders responding to the EOSC Summit Declaration.

The document also specifies the link to the European Data Infrastructure, underpinning high-capacity cloud solutions with super-computing capacity, as well as widening the EOSC by gradually opening up its user base to the public sector and industry.

Today, the document is presented and discussed with the Research Working Party of the Council, with a view of finalising the governance framework for the initiative in the earnest.

Overall, the document will serve as a basis for further consultation with Member States, the European Parliament and other relevant stakeholders on the next steps to take. The EOSC has emerged as a clear policy priority for European research and innovation. It has been strongly supported by the European scientific community in the EOSC Summit and Declaration, by the Council in Council Conclusions (May 2016) and by a European Parliament Resolution (January 2017). It also received favourable opinions from the Economic and Social Committee (September 2016) and from the Committee of the Regions (October 2016).

 

Background

With the adoption of the Digital Single Markets strategy on 6 May 2015, the Commission announced the launch of a cloud for research data – the ‘research open science cloud'. The 'European Open Science Cloud' aims to create a trusted environment for hosting and processing research data to support EU science in its global leading role.

Commissioner Moedas first flagged the initiative at the ERA of Innovation Conference, in June 2015. In a joint blog post, Commissioners Oettinger and Moedas further explained that the initiative 'will combine existing and future data infrastructures, offering secure and seamless access to European researchers for storing, managing and processing data from different sources'.

In his a speech at the Franco-German Conference on Digital (27 October 2015) President Juncker supported a 'nuage européen pour la recherche consacrée à la science ouverte …  Notre ambition est de doter l'Europe de capacités techniques puissantes en termes d'infrastructures, de procès, d'analyse et de stockage des données. Seules les données qui seront traitées de façon performante et sûre créeront de la richesse pour notre société'.

The Commission appointed a High Level Expert Group on the European Open Science Cloud to advise on the scientific services to be provided on the cloud and on its governance structure.

The initiative reinforces Open Science, Open Innovation and Open to the world policies. It will foster best practices of global data findability and accessibility (FAIR data), help researchers get their data skills recognised and rewarded (careers, altmetrics); help address issues of access and copyright (IPR) and data subject privacy; allow easier replicability of results and limit data wastage e.g. of clinical trial data (research integrity); contribute to clarification of the funding model for data generation and preservation, reducing rent-seeking and priming the market for innovative research services e.g. advanced TDM (new business models).

>> Policy context of the EOSC

The European Council and Member States welcomed the initiative in the Conclusions on 'Open, data-intensive and networked research as a driver for faster and wider innovation', adopted at the Competitiveness Council of 28-29 May 2015. Among various conclusions supporting the building blocks of the EOSC, they contain clear indication of support:

6a.  RECOGNISES the importance of long term sustainability of database infrastructure and availability of secure, reliable and high-quality cloud-based services, and UNDERLINES the importance of being able to store and process in Europe research data produced in the Member States; in this context WELCOMES the further development of a European Open Science Cloud that will enable sharing and re-use of research data across disciplines and borders, taking into account relevant legal, security and privacy aspects;

The European Parliament also called on the Commission to move ahead with the initiative. The Parliament adopted a REPORT on 'Towards a Digital Single Market Act', in the plenary vote of 19 January 2016. In point 124, the Committee deals directly and positively with the European Open Science Cloud:

Is concerned that cloud infrastructures for researchers and universities are fragmented; calls on the Commission, in cooperation with all relevant stakeholders, to set up an action plan to lead to the establishment of the European Open Science Cloud by the end of 2016, which should seamlessly integrate existing networks, data and high-performance computing systems and e-infrastructure services across scientific fields, within a framework of shared policies, standards and investments; believes that it should serve as a stimulus to the development of clouds beyond science, to better interconnected innovation centres, start-up ecosystems, and improved cooperation between universities and industry in commercialising technology, in compliance with relevant confidentiality rules, and to facilitating international coordination and cooperation in this field;

Indeed, the initiative is part of Europe’s ambition to support the transition to Open Science in the context of the Digital Single Market; it aims to meet an urgent and specific need of the scientific community to boost data access and re-use and to reduce the cost of data storage and high-performance analysis by pooling existing capacity and by aggregating demand (initially by researchers in the public sector).

>> Commission High Level Expert Group on the European Open Science Cloud

>> Stakeholder Workshop on the European Open Science Cloud, Brussels, 30 November 2015