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Supporting the EOSC Partnership in further consolidating the coordination and sustainability of the EOSC ecosystem

 

Support the further implementation of an effective pan-European cooperation framework and a thriving EOSC ecosystem in which stakeholders from all parts of the European Research Area pull together in a strategic and coordinated manner to ensure the achievement of the EOSC Partnership objectives. This support will take the form of a combination of lump sum funding and cascading grants.

The investments on EOSC federated resources, the support to enlarge the portfolio of generic services and to stimulate specific communities in populating EOSC with data and services, are non-exhaustive examples of national and institutional contributions that are planned and need effective coordination. Proposals should support the EOSC community at large by reinforcing the coordination mechanisms that link the EOSC partnership with:

  • the Member States and their actions and programmes on supporting EOSC, Open Science and other digital related initiatives that could contribute to and enable the “Web of FAIR data” and to pull resources towards shared and heterogeneous digital infrastructures,
  • and the network of providers and users’ representatives that commonly work on technical solutions, standards and support the change of culture towards Open Science.

It is also important to actively support coordination mechanisms and enhance synergies between activities by the EOSC Association and its members, initiatives and EU-funded projects working under the EOSC umbrella to deliver on the priorities set forth in the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda of the EOSC European partnership.

In the context of coordination and harmonisation of a pan-European federated infrastructure, the sustainability of EOSC requires further development and implementation, notably the identification and testing of cost models and business models are needed to support the federated access to institutional, national and European capacity.

Proposals are expected to cover the following activities:

  • Enhancing the EOSC coordination to targeted investments and contributions: this activity should aim at establishing a more dynamic and responsive interconnection of national nodes forming an effective EOSC coordination network. National nodes should act as EOSC national hubs to sensitise government and governmental agencies to enhance the connection of EOSC to digital infrastructures, beyond scientific infrastructures. Several countries have already implemented a network or a consortium that represents all the national stakeholders, the proposals should promote and support the creation of such structures in countries where those are not yet implemented. National nodes will have to promote funding synergies and foster collaboration with public authorities and the private sector, encouraging private investments to further develop the EOSC ecosystem. National nodes should also strengthen the connection of the EOSC related national initiatives to the “Green and Digital transition”[[ https://digital-strategy.ec.europa.eu/en/policies/green-digital]]. The nodes should foster collaboration, mutual learning and joint activities and the network should proactively interact with the EOSC Association, sharing best practices and inform of investments that could be replicated or aggregated. To address this activity, the proposals should enhance the existing coordination actions implemented by the EOSC Association with the Member States and with the international organisations (RPOs and providers) that are already members and that can catalyse investments in EOSC related initiatives. Additionally, about EUR 1 million should be foreseen to support third parties through cascading grants, with EUR 100 000 as maximum amount to be granted to each third party, to:
    • Kick-start the coordination nodes in countries where similar structure that could act as nodes have not yet been established;
    • Promote and/or coordinate joint actions and investments between countries or distributed infrastructures;
    • Coordinate international initiatives that aim at further strengthen the EOSC ecosystem.
  • Strengthen collaboration and alignment within the portfolio of EU-funded projects, activities conducted by the EOSC Association and its members and other initiatives contributing to the objectives of the EOSC SRIA. Activities should maximise the added value of joint work and cross-project endeavours to accelerate EOSC deployment and evolution. This activity should allocate about EUR 1 million to support third parties through cascading grants, with EUR 50 000 as maximum amount to be granted to each third party, to promote actions related to, but not limited to:
    • Supporting additional collaborative activities amongst EU-funded projects and the EOSC Association contributing to the EOSC implementation (e.g. cross-project strategic analyses, syntheses and policy feedback, joint engagement strategies, common exploitation strategies to accelerate EOSC deployment) that would benefit from pooling expertise, and bring clear added value as compared to what individual projects or initiatives might accomplish;
    • Building strategic and operational synergies within and beyond the EOSC ecosystem, including with other European partnerships or projects from outside the INFRAEOSC destination, such as for example, international or national projects contributing to the twin green and digital transitions, as appropriate;
  • Implementation of clear financial models to support for long term financial sustainability of the main building blocks of EOSC as defined in the FAIR Lady report “Solutions for a Sustainable EOSC” to ensure federated access to existing capacity. This activity is key element to strengthen the governance framework of EOSC and it will simplify and amplify access to resources and avoid fragmentation. It is therefore important to:
    • Capitalise on the results of the topic HORIZON-INFRA-2021-EOSC-01-02 and on the work of the EOSC Task Force on sustainability, and coordinate the piloting of financial models for the EOSC-Core;
    • Evaluate and build upon existing financial models and the accounting mechanisms for data and IT services to ensure sustainability of the EOSC-Exchange and the federated cross-border and/or cross-disciplinary data and service provision; taking into account of the different types of organisations (public vs private) and resources (e.g. rivalrous vs non-rivalrous);
    • Consequently, adopt the most adequate solution to ensure smooth access to transnational resources in EOSC.

To implement the last point, the proposals should also capitalise on (1) the existing financial and accounting practices of the European Research Infrastructures and other initiatives that function in a distributed and transnational framework, and on (2) the virtual access mechanism based on the projects funded under the topic H2020-INFRAEOSC-07-03. Collaboration should be established with projects funded under the topic HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-01.

The selected project will be expected to align with the EOSC Partnership. Proposals should involve and be driven by one or more representatives of the relevant actors of the field, in particular those directly involved in the EOSC Partnership.