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Encouraging the re-use of research data generated by publically funded research projects


The action will identify one or several areas of research where FAIR data is not yet common practice and what the different barriers are (e.g. technical, legal, behavioural) as well as how to overcome them, covering both publicly funded entities and business actors. It will provide support to make data FAIR, in particular to address the quality of data (e.g. certification), its interoperability and its reproducibility.

The action will identify one or several areas of research funded in Horizon 2020 where sufficient and high-quality research data is available. The action will generate pathfinder case studies for innovative sharing and re-use of research data by publicly funded entities as well as business actors, which demonstrate how data sharing and data re-use can generate a ground breaking innovative product, service, or treatment. Furthermore, the action will financially support the generation of a prototype of such a product, device, service, or treatment. If relevant, the action will support trans/cross-disciplinary research data re-use in this endeavour. For the pathfinder case studies preference should be given to research data generated with EU funding, in particular in Horizon 2020 and, as far as available, previous framework programmes[[The Horizon 2020 open research data mandate (extended Open Research data Pilot) covers primarily research data underlying a publication. However, projects can go beyond this and also make datasets which are not linked publications openly available.]].

To address this specific challenge, proposals may benefit from a broad coverage. It is therefore suggested that consortia could include at least entities from 10 different Member States or Associated Countries, although smaller consortia will also be eligible and may be selected.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of the order of EUR 3.00 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

All research builds on former work and depends on scientists' possibilities to access and share scientific information. In the context of Open Science and Responsible Research and Innovation the European Commission therefore strongly supports the optimal open access to and re-use of research data (considering e.g. robust opt-outs). As a concrete action the EC has extended the Open Research Data Pilot to cover all areas of Horizon 2020 (as of the 2017 Work Programme). This will result in more data becoming available for re-use. However, it is necessary to adopt further actions to reach the Commission's overall objective of findable, accessible, interoperable and re-usable (FAIR) data by 2020.

The action will increase the visibility of the Commission's open FAIR data policy (extended Open Research Data Policy) and the research data which has become available as a result through a) dedicated communication activities, and b) networking of relevant actors with a cross-and inter-disciplinary perspective, including industry.

The re-use of research data generated with public funding is expected to have a beneficial impact for science, the economy and society. The wider accessibility of results is expected to increase the reproducibility of research. Additionally, re-use of research data can cross-fertilise interdisciplinary research, which is essential for addressing the grand challenges of our time. It can also boost citizen science. Furthermore, enabling the re-use of research data is expected to create added value for innovative companies (including SMEs and start-ups) which form the bed rock of the digital single market.

The Key Performance Indicators are the following:

  1. Increase in FAIR data in those domains identified by the beneficiaries for action

  2. Contribution of the pathfinder case studies to innovative data sharing and re-use