*UPDATE 09 October 2023: EC meeting report appended
BRUSSELS — Representatives from 19 EOSC-related Horizon Europe (HE) projects met over two days in Brussels, 15-16 June, for a coordination meeting with the EOSC Association (EOSC-A) and the European Commission in order to deepen collaboration, exchange expertise, and provide project updates. The meeting, held on the joint invitation of DG RTD, DG CNECT and the EC’s Research Executive Agency (REA), was the second of its kind following a successful gathering in October 2022, and sought to consolidate and advance discussions among the 19 projects with a particular focus on those funded under the 2022 HE calls.
The event was inaugurated by Director for ERA & Innovation, DG RTD, Anna Panagopoulou and head of RTD’s Open Science and Research Infrastructures unit Michael Arentoft, who jointly emphasised the pivotal role of the projects in driving the necessary changes to realise EOSC. Karel Luyben, President of EOSC-A, welcomed the participants by highlighting Association initiatives, including the consultation for the Multi-Annual Roadmap and EOSC-A’s continuous work to amplify the voice of the community.
Implementation of EOSC
A joint presentation, delivered by EOSC-A Secretary General Ute Gunsenheimer, EOSC-A Director Sara Garavelli, and EOSC Focus contributor Ilire Hasani-Mavriqi of TU Graz, showcased the achievements to date and ongoing actions of the EOSC Focus project. This included the design for a new visualisation tool—an online, interactive “macro-roadmap”, the goal of which is to demonstrate the implementation of EOSC over time via the projects’ contributions to, among other goals, the objectives of the EOSC Partnership’s Strategic Research & Innovation Agenda (SRIA).
In addition to EOSC Focus, each of the other 18 EOSC-related projects shared the progress of their work, highlighting their contributions to the SRIA, the implementation of EOSC, and the impacts they anticipate.
Towards an EOSC Federation
Participants also engaged in breakout sessions centred around three main topics. The first topic addressed the sharing of FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) research data at both disciplinary and interdisciplinary levels, with a specific focus on how EOSC can contribute to the EU Missions. The second topic delved into the federation of services and core components of EOSC, exploring ways to enhance interoperability and collaboration. Lastly, the end-user perspective was discussed, covering areas such as engagement, skills, rewards, and incentives.
On the second day of the meeting, the rapporteurs of the breakout sessions presented each group’s key findings, and other contributions were made regarding the advancement towards an operational EOSC federation.
All in all, the meeting highlighted the dedication and collective effort of the participants in advancing the vision of EOSC. While numerous tasks lie ahead, the meeting served to reinforce the EOSC Partnership’s common priority to demonstrate the added value of EOSC.
‘Winter School’ planned for January 2024
By leveraging their collective knowledge and resources, the consortium partners contributing to the EOSC-related HE projects are working towards establishing an inclusive and interconnected research ecosystem. Their shared goal is to build a strong foundation that fosters innovation, accelerates scientific discoveries, and empowers researchers across Europe and beyond.
To achieve this, several follow-up activities were identified, including the organisation of a “Winter School” to be held in the second half of January 2024. This new initiative aims to bring all projects together again to discuss policy recommendations, share concrete case studies, and exchange information on future models for EOSC’s development.