What the European Open Science Cloud is
The ambition of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) is to provide European researchers, innovators, companies and citizens with a federated and open multi-disciplinary environment where they can publish, find and reuse data, tools and services for research, innovation and educational purposes.
This environment will operate under well-defined conditions to ensure trust and safeguard the public interest.
The EOSC enables a step change across scientific communities and research infrastructures towards
- seamless access
- FAIR (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability and Reusability) management
- reliable reuse of research data and all other digital objects produced along the research life cycle (e.g. methods, software and publications)
The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) ultimately aims to develop a 'Web of FAIR Data and services' for science in Europe upon which a wide range of value-added services can be built. These range from visualisation and analytics to long-term information preservation or the monitoring of the uptake of open science practices.
The EOSC is recognised by the Council of the European Union among the 20 actions of the policy agenda 2022-2024 of the European Research Area (ERA) with the specific objective to deepen open science practices in Europe. It is also recognised as the "science, research and innovation data space" which will be fully articulated with the other sectoral data spaces defined in the European strategy for data.
Full deployment of the EOSC will lead to higher research productivity, new insights and innovations, as well as improved reproducibility and trust in science.
The implementation of the EOSC is based on a long-term process of alignment and coordination pursued by the Commission since 2015 with the many and diverse stakeholders of the European research landscape.
In the initial phase of implementation (2018-2020), the European Commission invested around €250 million to prototype components of the EOSC through calls for projects under Horizon 2020. The European Commission also launched an interim EOSC Governance to prepare the strategic orientations for the EOSC implementation post-2020.
The current phase of implementation (2021-2030), is taking place in the context of the EOSC European co-programmed partnership launched at the Research and Innovation Days 2021 and according to a Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) which is co-developed with the entire EOSC community.
EOSC is transitioning to a more stakeholder-driven approach with a shared vision, common objectives and complementary contributions at European, national and institutional levels.
A co-investment (with in kind and financial contributions) by the EU and non-EU partners of at least €1 billion is foreseen for the next 7 years.
Overall progress is steered by a new EOSC tripartite governance involving the EU represented by the European Commission, the participating countries represented in the EOSC Steering Board and the research community represented by the EOSC Association.
EOSC tripartite governance
The EOSC tripartite collaboration is a concept of strategic coordination between the EU represented by the European Commission, the participating countries represented in the EOSC Steering Board, and the research community represented by the EOSC Association to resource and support the implementation of the EOSC ecosystem in Europe.
This includes joint activities to enable and monitor the uptake of open science practices in Europe and to align relevant national and EU policies and investments to improve the production of FAIR research output that are “as open as possible, as closed as necessary”.
The Competitiveness Council of November 2021 recognised the development of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) as a cornerstone of the ERA policy agenda 2022-2024 to enable the open sharing and reuse of research digital outputs.
The tripartite governance will ensure dialogue and strategic coordination towards achieving the EOSC policy objectives.
EOSC Association and EOSC Steering Board
The EOSC Association was set up in July 2020 as an international non-profit organisation under Belgian law with the aim to provide a single voice for advocacy and representation for the broader EOSC stakeholder community.
After one year, it attracted about 150 members and 50 observers from public organisations with a research mandate in Europe.
The EOSC Steering Board (EOSC-SB) was established as an expert group of the European Commission to strategically advise on EU policy for research data infrastructures and services and the alignment of EU and national policy developments and investments with the EOSC objectives.
The expert group also supports the Commission in coordinating and implementing the EOSC as part of the ERA Policy Agenda, in line with the Council conclusions of 26 November 2021 on the new ERA Governance.
The EOSC-SB is composed of the 27 EU countries and countries associated to the specific programme implementing Horizon Europe - the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (Associated Countries). The members and observers of the EOSC-SB are represented by around 100 experts.
The EOSC-SB is co-chaired by a representative of the European Commission and a representative of the other members of the group.
EOSC tripartite event
An EOSC tripartite governance event is organised annually to discuss achievements of EOSC implementation and strategic orientations for the EOSC evolution in the coming years.
The public report of the first EOSC tripartite event identifies 3 priorities in the coming years:
- deploying a viable EOSC platform (EOSC Core, EOSC Exchange and EOSC Data federation) for use by research communities, and collecting and disseminating ‘EOSC-enabled’ multidisciplinary use-cases of added-value to researchers
- deploying a single joint-capacity to monitor the uptake of Open Science and respective contributions to the EOSC
- aligning policies, investments, and practices at European, national, federal, regional, and institutional levels to foster synergies and leverage the effects of the actions conducted