EOSC Opportunity Area Expert Groups

The EOSC Opportunity Area (OA) Expert Groups constitute an important mechanism for collaboration on technical and related matters within the Horizon Europe Co-programmed Partnership for EOSC.

They are a product of the voluntary collaboration across Horizon Europe (HE) EOSC-related projects, mainly in the domain of the HE Technology Group – one of the three inter-project working groups initiated by the Vademecum – and serve as the cornerstone of a community of technical experts collaborating to advance the development of EOSC.

The six EOSC Opportunity Area Expert Groups are designed to maximise the impact of the HE EOSC-related projects through strategic collaboration and co-creation of outputs with experts from the EOSC-A Task Forces.

OA Expert Group 1
Persistent Identifiers

Persistent Identifiers (PIDs) are a cross-cutting topic for Research Data Infrastructures (and for some EOSC-A Task Forces) and require an advisory body with a mandate to agree on standards and assess compliance. Opportunity Area Expert Group 1 will work towards establishing a Certification Authority for PID CAT/re-establishment of the PID Task Force, towards specifying requirements for new projects regarding PIDs and compliance with PID policy; and to support the development of federated national and regional SKGs and PID Graphs through contributions to, for instance, RDA.

OA Expert Group 2
Metadata, Ontologies and Interoperability

The discussion related to the SRIA has shown that the topic of metadata and ontologies is only superficially present in INFRAEOSC projects (with exceptions), so the community has been called upon explicitly to advance this domain. Opportunity Area Expert Group 2 will tackle the metadata, ontologies and semantics aspects to help EOSC progress at the core level. Consequently, the main aims of this Opportunity Area Expert Group are to establish and support collaboration between projects and Task Forces to define the EOSC approach to interoperability, metadata, and ontologies.

OA Expert Group 3
FAIR Assessment and Alignment

The objective of Opportunity Area Expert Group 3, FAIR Assessment and Alignment, is to define and implement the proposed FAIR metrics for EOSC by assessing their applicability across research communities and testing a range of tools to enable uptake. Recommendations will be made to clarify the differentiation between FAIR data, data quality and value assessment, and to update metrics and adopt tools as appropriate. In addition, the group will undertake a state of the art to understand measures of data quality, conducting several case studies to identify common features and dimensions to define an approach for increasing data quality within EOSC.

OA Expert Group 4
User and Resource Environments

Opportunity Area Expert Group 4 aims to foster the development and deployment of tools and services that allow researchers to properly archive, reference, describe with proper metadata, share and reuse research software, as well as to Improve their quality. This Opportunity Area Expert Group will actively engage with scholarly infrastructure providers for research software, leveraging EOSC-related projects and funding; explore tools, standards and platforms used in state-of-the-art software development and for quality control; and formulate actionable recommendations to tackle FAIR data and practices at the level of users. In particular, it aims to ensure that distributed computing is possible for every user, data integration is seamless on a user level, and improving the user experience for Virtual Research Environments. These goals will be achieved with a view towards the necessary hardware for (Trusted) Virtual Research Environments, by increasing user communities, leveraging AAI features, and better integrating data discovery across EOSC projects.

OA Expert Group 5
Skills, Training, Rewards, Recognition & Upscaling

The objective of Opportunity Area Expert Group 5 is to address incentives and rewards for researchers to manage and share their data, code and other research outputs, activities, and processes. OA Expert Group 5 will integrate and emphasize skills, training, rewards, recognition, and upscaling within the EOSC framework, to highlight the importance of Research Assessment in the context of EOSC. To make Open Science happen it is necessary that criteria of Open Science and FAIR principles are an integral part of academic career progression and grant assessment processes.

OA Expert Group 6
Open Scholarly Communication

The aims of Opportunity Area Expert Group 6 are, first, to ensure that the topic of Open Scholarly Communication is explicitly mentioned in the EOSC Partnership’s Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA); and second, to support the proposal of an EOSC-A Task Force to tackle concrete actions that go beyond the remit of individual projects. These include such topics as the role of machine actionability of digital objects in EOSC and the establishment of ways to aid data peer review and quality assessment, taking into account the diversity of EOSC “outputs”, to improve how they are to be treated as “publications”. In addition, OA Expert Group 6 deals with the opportunities and risks of AI, as well as defining ways for EOSC to support Diamond Open Access.


OA Expert Groups are a bottom-up initiative of the HE EOSC-related projects.

The concept was developed in the context of the planning for the first EOSC Winter School, and was informed by the interviews conducted by EOSC Focus to prepare the EOSC Macro-Roadmap, which introduced the idea of clustering projects based on their contributions to EOSC according to the SRIA Action Areas. Prior to the EOSC Winter School 2024, the 13 EOSC Association Task Forces (2021-2023) liaised with the projects, on the initiative of the EOSC-A Board of Directors, to offer feedback on developments, present their results and identify synergies. The four (new) Task Forces (2024-2025) will do the same.

Through this process, six Opportunity Areas emerged for the Winter School 2024:

These Opportunity Areas will accordingly be the focus of the work in the OA Expert Groups.

Evolution of INFRAEOSC projects collaboration: overview of activities within the collaboration
framework with HE EOSC-related projects
, from the EOSC Winter School 2024 Report

Scope and objectives

OA Expert Groups are designed to maximise the impact of the HE EOSC-related projects through strategic collaboration and co-creation of outputs with experts from the EOSC-A Task Forces.

By facilitating collaboration within and outside the HE EOSC-related projects, which each have their individual objectives, OA Expert Groups can generate significant added value. They enhance the broader community’s ability to solve specific challenges in the development of EOSC, making EU-funded projects more impactful.

EOSC Focus plays a crucial support role by guiding and facilitating these efforts to ensure that collaborative outputs are strategically aligned and impactful. This initiative, endorsed by the EOSC-A Board of Directors, aims to increase the visibility and effectiveness of EOSC-related activities and joint efforts.

Unlike the EOSC Association Task Forces, which are an instrument of EOSC-A exclusively, established through a dedicated call for members, and equipped with a clear work plan and specific deliverables, OA Expert Groups maintain a dynamic work plan that is continuously adapted to the influx of new projects and members to meet the evolving needs of the EOSC community. 

Concrete plans to sustain and expand these strategic collaborations include regular OA Expert Group meetings, the routine presentation of outcomes at meetings organised by the European Commission or others, the hosting of a joint session at the EOSC Symposium and, potentially, making the Winter School an annual event.

Currently, OA Expert Groups are defined by the following priorities and objectives:


  • Ensure hands-on technical collaboration to establish closer cooperation between the HE EOSC-related projects for the remainder of their duration
  • Hand over results of EOSC-A Task Forces (2021-2023) to HE EOSC-related projects


  • Frame inter-project collaboration that allows seamless onboarding of future projects (2023 onwards)
  • Contribute to shaping the vision of SRIA 2.0 


  • Increase the potential of the HE EOSC-related projects to deliver sustainable results that benefit the ESOC deployment and thereby maximise project impact

Membership and organisation

OA Expert Groups foster collaboration among experts both within and beyond the project boundaries.

Practically, the OA Expert Groups are tied to HE EOSC-related projects, consisting mainly of technical project coordinators and other project representatives. Project participation, which is facilitated by EOSC Focus, is voluntary. OA Expert Groups may include additional experts not directly involved in the projects but with relevant expertise, such as former and current members of the EOSC-A Task Forces. To ensure collaboration between the EOSC-related projects, each OA Expert Group is expected to appoint two co-chairs to help contextualise project deliverables and support projects in finding synergies.


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