Supporting the EU’s policy of open science, the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) aims to give the EU a global lead in research data management and ensure that European scientists enjoy the full benefits of data-driven science.
The EOSC is part of the European Cloud Initiative – ‘Building a competitive data and knowledge economy in Europe’. It aims to provide European science, industry and public authorities with:
- a world-class data infrastructure to store and manage data;
- high-speed connectivity to transport data;
- powerful high performance computers to process data.
The European Data Strategy further links the EOSC as the basis for a science, research and innovation data space that will bring together data resulting from research and deployment programmes and will be connected and fully articulated with the sectoral data spaces.
Under Horizon 2020, the EU Research and Innovation programme for the 2014-2020 period, €600 million was allocated to support EOSC. The support for EOSC continues from the Horizon Europe programme, which has also mainstreamed the principle of open science.
The EOSC Portal is the universal access channel to EOSC services and resources. It already covers a wide range of disciplines including medical and health, natural sciences, physics, earth sciences, arts, humanities, agriculture, and engineering.
Through the portal, researchers and professionals can access open and seamless services, data, and other resources from a wide range of national, regional and institutional public research infrastructures across Europe. The portal facilitates interoperability of datasets and tools from different providers, and enables researchers to perform their work more quickly and disseminate their research results more widely.
The EOSC Portal was built through progressive integration and consolidation of the results of the e-infrastructure projects from the Horizon 2020 programme, such as OpenAIRE, EOSC-hub, and eInfraCentral.
EOSC Enhance has further improved the functionalities of the Portal. The consolidation and scaling up of the Portal and its underlying service platform is one of objectives of EOSC Future, EGI-ACE, DICE, OpenAIRE Nexus, C-SCALE, and Reliance which will increase the service offer of the Portal.
To achieve the ambitious objectives of EOSC, an interim governance structure was put in place for 2018-2020, bringing together public funders (from Member States, Associated States and the European Commission) and the EOSC stakeholders (researchers, service providers, industry, public sector and other users). The 3-tier structure included:
- a Governance Board, consisting of representatives from the Member States and the European Commission who jointly decide the future of EOSC
- an Executive Board, consisting of experts from key European research and e-infrastructures communities who advise on the EOSC’s implementation and the way forward
- a Stakeholders Forum, giving voice to the wider community of users, service providers, industry and the public sector
The interim governance structure was replaced by the EOSC Partnership between the European Commission and the newly established EOSC Association for the entire duration of Horizon Europe in 2021. The launch of the European Partnership marks an important step towards the implementation of the EOSC to deploy and consolidate by 2030 an open, trusted virtual environment to enable the estimated 2 million European researchers to store, share and reuse research data across borders and disciplines. This Partnership will endow EOSC with European funding of almost €500 million from Horizon Europe and equal in-kind contribution of the partners of €500 million for the next seven years.
The Commission intends to unlock the reuse potential of different types of data and facilitate its free flow across borders to achieve a European digital single market, for the benefit of the economy and society.
EOSC is a fundamental enabler of open science and of the digital transformation of science. It offers the possibility to access and reuse all publicly funded research data in Europe, across scientific disciplines and countries. By federating existing research data infrastructures, EOSC leverages national investments and adds value in terms of scale, interdisciplinarity and faster innovation.