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European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) Workshop: University Networks shaping EOSC

31 January 2020

The Coimbra Group actively took part in the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) Workshop with University Networks that took place on 23-24 January in Brussels, through the participation of five experts from our member universities:
• Dr Sofia Baggini, Head of Research and Third Mission Unit, University of Pavia
• Ms Niamh Brennan, Programme Manager for Research Informatics in Trinity College Library Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin
• Prof Giorgio Maria Di Nunzio, Ph.D. in Computer Science, Associate Professor, Department of Information Engineering (DEI), University of Padua
• Dr Mari Riipinen, Head of Research Development Unit, Development Services, University of Turku
• Prof Sverker Holmgren, Department of Information Technology, Division of Scientific Computing, Uppsala University

The European Union with its research funds and in particular with Horizon2020 Framework Programme, has introduced new principles to involve the society as a whole, or at least as many actors as possible, in order to align its outcomes with the values that the society shares. Within this process, the Open Access (OA) principle comprises the idea of making research results freely available to anyone that wants to access and re-use them. One of the main drivers of the OA idea is to make publicly funded research accessible to the general public. The term OA originally referred to the provision of free access to peer-reviewed academic publications but today this term refers also to the free access to research data underpinning publications or research projects in general. In pursuing the objective of making research data freely available, the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), a project launched in 2018, is planning to build a cloud-based repository collecting data from research institutions across Europe.
On the 23rd and 24th of January 2020, the “European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) Workshop: University Networks shaping EOSC” took place at the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Palace in Brussels. The workshop was organised by the Technische Universität Wien (TU Wien) in partnership with the EOSC Secretariat. For the event, a selected group of people were invited with the goal of bringing University Networks together to discuss the future of EOSC. In particular, the five university networks chosen by the EOSC Secretariat to participate in the workshop and co-development were the Coimbra Group, CESAER, EUA, the Guild and LERU. In order to reach a wider representation, experts from a broad range of disciplines and members of different Universities across Europe were invited for a total of 40 participants. The main objective of the workshop was to provide feedback to the EOSC Secretariat on the roles and needs of the main EOSC stakeholders.
The workshop was organised in three breakout sessions with mixed groups of 10 participants in each. Each group had 1) broad topics to be discussed such as governance and funding after 2020, user engagement, and networking and collaborations, and 2) a list of questions from the EOSC Secretariat to be answered. At the end of each session, a rapporteur from each group summarised the key elements that emerged during the breakout session in a plenary discussion.
The preliminary outcome of the discussion concerned four aspects: 1) Fundamental challenges for data and the associated processes, for example how to ensure data quality and reliable processes; 2) Human factors such as how to motivate and reward researchers and institutions participating in EOSC as well as responsibility and accountability of each member; 3) Implementation in terms of physical infrastructure and federated approaches; 4) Commitment of the institutions in respect of, for example, funding and strategic approaches as well as partnerships and collaborations.
A full report of the workshop will be released in February 2020 and will inform the building blocks for both the EOSC Executive Board and Working Groups in the ongoing development processes of the EOSC.
(Dr Sofia Baggini & Prof Giorgio Maria Di Nunzio)

The presentations produced during this 2-day meeting are available on the Coimbra Group intranet (For CG members only).