SRIA 2.0: Community consultation

The development and deployment of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) is a continuous and rapidly evolving process directed by the European co-programmed Partnership for EOSC.

The EOSC Partnership’s Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) defines the general framework for future research, development, and innovation activities in relation to EOSC, and will serve as the Partnership’s guiding document for the coming four years.
Recent developments in relation to EOSC have been considerable and are increasing in speed, giving rise to the need to formulate a new SRIA to guide the further development. The process to accomplish this will run throughout 2024. The new document will become SRIA 2.0 and will be the basis for the development of EOSC going forward. SRIA 2.0 will be especially important in its impact on EOSC for the period post-2027, when the implementation and operation of EOSC will move forward under the guidance of a new governance structure.

Consultation timeline

The online community consultation for the extended outline of SRIA 2.0 opened on 2 April 2024, and closed on 5 May 2024.

The consultation is based on a first draft table of contents, including high-level descriptions of each chapter, which have been prepared by the EOSC Association Board of Directors.
During 2024 more targeted consultations on the draft texts of the SRIA will be coordinated with relevant groups like the EOSC-Steering Board expert group, the Research Infrastructures, the EOSC-A membership, the HE INFRAEOSC projects, etc.
The EOSC Partnership aims to have SRIA 2.0 completed by mutual agreement between the European Commission and the EOSC Association and submitted for approval to the Partnership Board before the end of 2024.

Webinars for presentation of draft content

The EOSC Association hosted three webinars in April to present the draft content of SRIA 2.0 and introduce the consultation procedure to the wider stakeholder community. You can watch a recording of the webinar on the EOSC-A YouTube channel.

The EOSC Association Board, in collaboration with the EOSC Focus project, is diligently processing responses from the survey on the extended outline of SRIA 2.0. Feedback on the relevance of the content for each respective chapter was clearly positive, with constructive remarks addressing the appropriate level of detail needed in SRIA 2.0. Summary of feedback received for each chapter:

Chapter 1: Introduction

  • Broad Perspective: Highlight the larger picture without delving into excessive details.
  • Future Outlook: Provide a clear vision of the future of EOSC.
  • Community Relevance: Outline EOSC’s impact on public, private, and other sectors.
  • Current Progress: Report on how existing projects align with SRIA v1.
  • Brevity: Keep the introduction concise.

Chapter 2: EOSC Description

  • Strategic Focus: Emphasize EOSC’s strategy and goals over technical details.
  • Clarify Nodes Concept: Explain the interaction between nodes, (e-)infra-structures, and EDICs.
  • Beyond Data: Stress the importance of supporting services in addition to data.
  • Ecosystem Integration: Detail how EOSC integrates with Data Spaces.

Chapter 3: Interoperability

  • Requirements Focus: Prioritize requirements over specific implementations and technologies.
  • Clear Wording: Address ambiguities in terms like “fair use of data.”
  • Governance Link: Define nodes clearly and explain their relationship with existing infrastructures within the EOSC federation.

Chapter 4: FAIR Data and Metadata

  • Assessment Tools: Consider the need for generic FAIR assessment tools and EOSC-specific AI tools.
  • Best Practices: Leverage existing communities to establish FAIR best practices.
  • Community Definition: Explicitly define the “EOSC community” and its relation to nodes.
  • Sustainability: Focus on sustainable costs for existing data research infrastructures to retain skilled data stewards.
  • Standards: Describe criteria for generic and community-specific (metadata) standards.
  • Reusability: Ensure infrastructure for collecting contextual info through scientific workflows.

Chapter 5: AI for FAIR and FAIR for AI

  • Integration Debate: Consider whether to continue this as a separate chapter or integrate it within other chapters.
  • Detail Level: Determine the appropriate level of detail to keep AI discussions future-proof.

Chapter 6: Services

  • Service Catalogues: Mention how service catalogues facilitate service classification and interoperability.
  • Sustainability: Address sustainability challenges for services lacking post-project support.
  • Definitions: Clarify definitions and scope of EOSC horizontal services.
  • Service Types: Distinguish between thematic and regional services, avoiding overlaps.
  • Terminology: Use “Research Outputs” instead of “Digital Objects.”
  • Innovation Services: Include innovation services from pan-RI economic activities.
  • Value Enhancement: Cite measures to enhance the value and impact of EOSC services (SLAs, cost books, quality assurance, etc.).

Chapter 7: Governance

  • Community Involvement: Explain how research communities, RIs, and ERICs will be involved in governance.
  • Dynamic Description: Describe the interactions between communities, the EC, EOSC Association, and Member States.
  • National Coordination: Explain how national strategies will be aligned with EOSC.
  • Funding Interaction: Address how EOSC and Data Spaces, along with their funding, will coexist.
  • Global Context: Include a description of EOSC in the global context.
  • Node System: Describe the EOSC Nodes system and its relationship to governance.

Overall suggestions

The following points give a summary of the overall remarks made for  SRIA 2.0. The emphasis is on sustainable development, responsible data sharing, clear governance, and strategic integration of existing initiatives and infrastructures.

  • EOSC should integrate diverse infrastructures including institutional, national, and international repositories containing research data, metadata, software, texts, and research information. These can be monodisciplinary or multidisciplinary.
  • Establish responsible data sharing tools to govern the exchange of information within EOSC components. Define appropriate terms of use based on the characteristics of the information and potential users.
  • Ensure existing infrastructures are funded and governed appropriately. Development and maintenance of missing components for EOSC should be funded by the EC and managed by EOSC-A. Emphasize non-competitive, long-term funding for sustainable development.
  • Define roles within EOSC, distinguishing between ‘mandated members’ for national consultations, ‘representative members’ for infrastructure representation, and ‘individual members’. Maintain digital sovereignty by restricting private for-profit organizations to ‘observer’ status.
  • Outline a clear governance model and long-term funding strategy in collaboration with Member States, the European Commission, and EOSC. Ensure the governance structure supports sustainable development and avoids dependency on commercial entities.
  • Clarify EOSC’s role and key benefits in the European landscape, comparing it with other data spaces. Address how EOSC relates to Research Infrastructures.
  • Include Research Infrastructures (RIs) more thoroughly in the EOSC development process. Address the lack of participation of RIs in the tripartite consultation process and align developments with existing data spaces and initiatives.
  • Prioritize sustainable funding for data management and preservation. Leverage existing national Competence Centres and strengthen networking. Develop a core curriculum for data stewardship at the European level, supporting initiatives like the ELIXIR RI Manager program.
  • Treat AI and smart contracts with caution, ensuring solid scientific and technological foundations. Avoid speculative technologies and focus on realistic scenarios where AI can benefit EOSC. Address legal and ethical issues, such as data bias in AI models.
  • Focus on user engagement, emphasizing the benefits EOSC brings to researchers, RIs, and other stakeholders. Develop use cases that demonstrate the value of EOSC. Include a clear statement on digital sovereignty, inclusive governance, and the preferred use of open-source software.

The immediate priority is to further analyse the feedback from the community consultation on the extended outline of SRIA 2.0. Since the SRIA is a document co-owned by the EOSC Association and the European Commission, EOSC-A will update the Partnership Board on the development status of SRIA 2.0 at the next Partnership Board meeting on 05 July 2024.

  • Given the busy summer period, we have decided to temporarily de-prioritise the SRIA creation and aim to resume this process following the HORIZON-INFRA-2024-EOSC-02-01 (“EOSC United”) call deadline.
  • In the second half of the year, we plan to organise targeted consultations on draft texts with groups like the EOSC-Steering Board expert group, Research Infrastructures, the EOSC-A membership, Horizon Europe INFRAEOSC projects, and others.
  • Our goal is to have a mature draft by the end of this year, with the Governance chapter pending decisions from the Tripartite on the preferred model of EOSC governance beyond 2027.