The vision for EOSC is to put in place a system in Europe to find and access data and services for research and innovation. This is to help researchers store, share, process, analyse and reuse FAIR research outputs within and across disciplines and borders.

The deployment of a network between data repositories and services will be instrumental for Open Science to progress in Europe. For this, the EOSC Federation of nodes is being created.


EOSC FEDERATION

With the anticipated launch of the EOSC EU Node at the EOSC Symposium in October 2024, preparations for the EOSC Federation have kicked into high gear. To fully unlock the benefits of EOSC, one single node is not enough: additional “EOSC Nodes” need to be established and enrolled into the EOSC Federation.

The EOSC Federation will consist of multiple “EOSC Nodes” that are interconnected and can collaborate to share and manage scientific data, knowledge, and resources within and across thematic and geographical research communities. The EOSC Nodes will be entry points for users to the EOSC Federation, with each node offering its own and possibly third-party services, including data reposing and accessing services.

To enable the establishment of such a distributed system many questions remain to be answered:

  • What are the minimum requirements for an entity to be an EOSC Node?
  • What are the rules for enrolment of Nodes into the EOSC Federation?
  • How will the EOSC Federation be governed?
  • What are the financial mechanisms that will support the resource transactions within the EOSC Federation?

And this is to only mention a few.

The “Tripartite Group”

The EOSC Tripartite Governance has recognised that answering those questions will be of paramount importance for all parties to come to an agreement on realistic scenarios for EOSC post-2027. As the decision-making body for EOSC, the EOSC Tripartite Governance should oversee the structure, governance and operations of the EOSC Federation. 

The EOSC Tripartite Governance has emphasised that a coordinated effort by the three parties is necessary to build the EOSC Federation, and this is why a new “Tripartite Group” to advance the creation of EOSC has been established.

  • The European Commission’s Directorate-General Research and Innovation (DG RTD)
  • Directorate-General Communications Network, Content and Technology (DG CNECT)
  • The EOSC-Steering Board
  • The EOSC-A Board of Directors
  • Technical experts mobilised by request and community consultations
EOSC NODES

The development of EOSC is an evolving process which gets closer to a working implementation every year.

The most recent development in the architecture of EOSC is the concept of a federation of nodes implementing a system of system type architecture. The first node to be developed is the EOSC EU Node promoted and financed by the European Commission. The EOSC EU Node has been procured by the European Commission and will be hosted and implemented by 3rd party sub-contractors. The EOSC EU Node is planned to be released for testing in autumn 2024, but already has a web presence.

With the advent of the EOSC EU Node the next step is to identify the first set of EOSC Nodes to implement the Federation of Nodes.

Minimum requirements of an EOSC Node

The concept of an EOSC Node is relatively recent. It offers the advantage of being a more flexible concept than a Research Infrastructure or e-Infrastructure as it allows multiple RIs and other providers of data and services to be included and grouped together as a Node. It needs to be clearly defined to enable all stakeholders to be included and organise themselves to become (part of) an EOSC Node if they so wish.

The first item on the agenda of the Tripartite Group is to discuss the minimum requirements of an EOSC Node. The starting point for this discussion is the document drafted by the EOSC Association and currently under review by the Tripartite Group. This “minimum requirements” draft is a living document that will evolve over time based on the input received from the community.

The most recent draft of the EOSC Nodes requirements document being developed by the Tripartite Group, v24/5, has been published as a reference document for the EOSC Association’s 8th General Assembly, and can be downloaded here:

Enrollment of EOSC Nodes

The second item on the agenda of the Tripartite Group is to contribute to defining the incremental process for the identification and enrolment of (candidate) Nodes in the EOSC Federation. The Tripartite Governance agrees that this effort needs to be steered to ensure the coherent, sustainable and steady growth of the EOSC Federation. More information will be shared with the community about the enrolment process in June 2024.

ROLE OF THE TRIPARTITE GROUP

The main scope of the Tripartite Group is to prepare commonly agreed positions and support the strategic steering of the EOSC Tripartite Governance in what concerns the establishment and operation of EOSC, including the EOSC Federation. 

The Tripartite Group supports the coordination and steering of the processes to establish the requirements for the EOSC Federation and the minimum set of rules and policies applicable throughout the Federation. All other relevant processes for the creation of EOSC as an operational infrastructure are to be discussed and prepared for decision making by the Tripartite Group as well.

To fulfill its role, the Tripartite Group will meet every two to three weeks and may also seek expert advice and set up inclusive community consultations as needed for the execution of its tasks. The Tripartite Group will ensure that all the views of the different stakeholders are considered, and that the processes to build EOSC are inclusive, open, and transparent.


For more information on the formation of the Tripartite Group, please read, “Towards a fully-fledged EOSC Federation”, 07 May 2024.

The Tripartite Group’s first orders of business include:

  • To discuss the minimum requirements of an EOSC Node.
  • To contribute to defining the incremental process for the identification and enrolment of Nodes in the EOSC Federation.
  • To discuss and endorse the EOSC-A-led developments on the EOSC Federation Handbook.
RESOURCES