As one of the first signatories of the 2017 EOSC Declaration, with our 2018 statement on Shaping the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and with our Director Karel Luyben as the Chair of the EOSC Executive Board representing the European University Association (EUA) and CESAER, our association has been, and continues to be, a strong supporter and constructive partner of the EOSC.
Following the 2019 EOSC Strategic Implementation Plan, a Draft proposal for a European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) Partnership was published earlier in May. This proposal outlines the envisioned next phase of the EOSC, which includes the establishment of a European Partnership in Horizon Europe.
The draft proposal summarises the proposed EOSC Partnership as follows:
“The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) Partnership will enable a trusted, virtual, federated environment in Europe to store, share and re-use research data across borders and scientific disciplines. The partnership will bring together institutional, national and European initiatives and engage all relevant stakeholders to co-design and deploy a European Research Data Commons where data are Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable (FAIR). 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.”
The contractual body for this partnership will be a new legal entity established as an international non-profit association under Belgian law (AISBL).
As universities of science and technology have central roles in the development, usage and management of research, innovation and education (e-) infrastructures (see our 2019 white paper), and in developing and promoting of best practices in research data management (see our 2020 white paper), they are of particular interest for the EOSC. In addition, our association is a strong proponent for open science, as expressed recently in our position on Open Access in Horizon Europe.
Our Board of Directors thus offered our association to become a founding member, and the Secretariat in the past months contributed to the drafting of the statutes and bylaws for the new legal entity. The Executive Board now has identified the pan-European data network for the research and education community (GÉANT) and our association as its two founding members, and the Governance Board identified the Italian Computing and Data Infrastructure (ICDI) and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), adding up to four in total.
Representatives of our association will thus continue to help advance the EOSC and establish the new legal entity in the coming months. Imminent topics concern the development of a Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA), finalisation of the bylaws, admission of new members and the election of the governing bodies of the EOSC AISBL.
Karel Luyben (Director of CESAER and Chair of EOSC Executive Board) said “As a founding member of the EOSC AISBL, CESAER can continue to be a constructive partner in this next phase of the development of EOSC. One of the main benefits is that CESAER can contribute the thirty years of experience the association has in running a successful AISBL, thereby supporting the EOSC AISBL to hit the ground running. Over time, one can envision that many universities of science and technology will be interested in becoming members of the EOSC AISBL, so it is a win-win situation to help the EOSC AISBL develop and mature into a flagship European Partnership in Horizon Europe.”
David Bohmert (Secretary General) added “Joining the EOSC AISBL as founding member underlines the longstanding and continued engagement of the universities of science and technology united within CESAER in the EOSC. Our efforts and membership pave the way for our Member universities to become members of the EOSC AISBL themselves and to fully deploy their contribution to the development and implementation of the EOSC. As key producers of scientific data and key actors in delivering advanced data services, they will bring the EOSC to the long tail of science and to individual researchers.”