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Support to the EOSC Governance

The projects funded under this topic should establish clear links among themselves and with all relevant and EOSC related projects funded under previous and current Horizon 2020 Work Programmes, in order to collaborate and address potential synergies, overlaps and gaps in the overall service offering. As such, these projects will constitute a ‘dedicated and mandated effort or instrument to coordinate EOSC-type activities across Member States’, a need highlighted by the EOSC HLEG report[[Report “Realising the European Open Science Cloud”, October 2016]], as also endorsed in the Competitiveness Council of 30 May 2017.

Proposals will address one of the following sub-topics:

(a) Setup of an EOSC coordination structure - Coordination and Support actions

This sub-topic aims to set-up a coordination structure to support the EOSC implementation. It will initially support the EOSC Executive Board that will be set up in 2018[[After agreement between the Commission and the Member States on the mandate and appointing mechanism]] to advise the EU on the EOSC implementation and assist with the transition by 2020 to the stable and fully-fledged EOSC Executive Board that will oversee the EOSC implementation. The coordination structure will work in close relation with the EOSC Executive Board to ensure the implementation of the strategic and funding orientations that will be set by the Member States and the European Commission, taking into account the views expressed by the EOSC community of stakeholders through the EOSC Stakeholders Forum.

The EOSC coordination structure should therefore be the vehicle that funnels the outcomes of all activities encompassed by this call, and other actions and initiatives on cloud for science and research, into a single operational cloud-based service environment enabling open science, excellent research and knowledge production. For this, the proposals will build on the results of previous Horizon 2020 projects, on the outcomes of the High Level Expert Group on the EOSC and of the Open Science Policy Platform, helping coordinate all EOSC-relevant activities funded under Horizon 2020 and beyond. In particular, the proposal will liaise with the project resulting from Call INFRAEDI-03-2018 as regards collaboration on areas of common interest with HPC stakeholders, taking into account the different level of maturity and pace of advancement of the two initiatives.

The EOSC coordination structure will notably (a) support decision making processes regarding EOSC core functions – e.g. standard setting and certification for metadata, specifications for making data FAIR, certifications for data service providers; identification of services needed by scientists to find, store, share and process research data; provision of core common services, ensuring affordable and sustainable access to data analytics and computation to all researchers; identifying priorities at EU level for new/upgraded research data infrastructures and services; (b) support the development of innovative business models for the delivery of these EOSC core functions; (c) help set the rules and methods of participation through which user communities, research infrastructures, e-Infrastructures providers can co-develop and implement cloud based solutions and services accessible to end users through the EOSC hub (e.g. including 'long-tail of science', PhD students at European Universities, Horizon 2020 individual grantees), including the terms and conditions for contributing to and benefitting from these data services; (d) help structure the EOSC community of stakeholders, e.g. by convening the EOSC Stakeholders Forum annually, by building on the outcomes of the June 2017 EOSC Summit and by supporting and integrating activities carried out today by the EOSCpilot Governance Forum and other relevant fora; (e) help ensure liaise with non-EU countries in policy and technical developments compatible with EOSC, and support multilateral and global initiatives on FAIR research data and clouds.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 10 million would allow this activity to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

(b) Coordination of EOSC-relevant national initiatives across Europe and support to prospective EOSC service providers - Research and Innovation Actions

This sub-topic aims to support the coordination, convergence and federation of EOSC-relevant national and/or thematic initiatives for open research data and services through the development of appropriate common tools and mechanisms. The aim is, on the one hand, to support the gradual alignment of policies and practices of EOSC-relevant national and/or thematic initiatives to EOSC standards and, on the other hand, to enable EOSC-relevant, non-commercial services to be accessed through the EOSC portal.

Only EOSC-relevant initiatives and services of wide European interest and at appropriate maturity level, and which are not addressed by other topics under this call, should be considered. The successful proposals will also be called to interact closely among themselves and with the EOSC coordination structure (see sub-topic a). Proposals will exploit synergies with grants resulting from other topics of this call and will build on and complement related work on the EOSC hub undertaken by projects resulting from EINFRA-12-2017 topic, to facilitate the development and adoption of common rules and best practices for harmonising the delivery and take-up of the EOSC core functions, supporting interoperability with other EOSC services, and enabling cost efficiency. Building on the activities supported by sub-topic (c), successful proposals should enable the mainstreaming of standards for data management and of certification schemes for data repositories, and all relevant supporting activities (e.g. technical, organisational and legal training and capacity building); it should also develop and promote incentives for the uptake of FAIR data practices across national scientific communities.

The successful proposals will contribute to the mapping and harmonisation of the procedures regulating the delivery of horizontal services related to research data by prospective EOSC service providers and by national initiatives located in different Member States and Associated Countries, including in areas such as Service Level Agreements, seamless access policies, alignment of procurement practices, user support, certification and compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation and with EU Directive on security of network and information systems. Evolution, training and adoption of standards for federated services and interoperability at all levels, as indicated in the European Interoperability Framework, should also be addressed. Proposals should involve real user communities and research infrastructures in the testing and fine-tuning of the solutions proposed.

Close collaboration with projects resulting from ICT-21-2019 calls is also recommended.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 5 and 6 million, would allow this activity to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. The requested contribution should however directly related to the number of prospective EOSC providers and/or EOSC-relevant national initiatives the proposal aims to connect to the EOSC[[A fair indication would be that the requested contribution does not exceed EUR 2 million per prospective EOSC provider and/or EOSC-relevant national initiative.]].

(c) FAIR data uptake and compliance in all scientific communities - Coordination and Support actions

This sub-topic aims to develop and support the implementation of a common scheme to ensure data development, wide uptake of and compliance with FAIR data principles and practices by national and European research data providers and repositories through the EOSC. As this scheme should constitute a key tool for ensuring effective EOSC governance, the successful proposals will be called to interact closely with the EOSC coordination structure to be established through sub-topic (a).

Proposals should:

  • facilitate coordination of initiatives, across Member States and Associated Countries or global initiatives (e.g. GO-FAIR initiative, CODATA, RDA, WDS), to make research data findable, accessible, interoperable and re-usable.
  • develop and implement measures on FAIR data policy addressing, among others, data stewardship and curation and the creation and interconnection of metadata catalogues.
  • support the organisation and participation to European and international activities (e.g. via RDA) on FAIR data uptake and compliance.
  • support the co-development and implementation of standards for data management and of certification schemes for data repositories, and all relevant supporting activities (e.g. technical, organisational and legal training and capacity building).
  • organise FAIR competence centres for different thematic areas and disciplines not supported by other initiatives.
  • address the establishment of a European data science competence framework for inclusion in academic curricula, by building on outcome of current and past projects (e.g. EDISON). This framework should include a complementary Data Science professional certification programme for professionals willing to acquire additional competencies.

The successful proposals will be called to interact closely between them, with successful projects resulting from INFRAEOSC-04-2018 topic and with the EOSC coordination structure, particularly to foster adoption of FAIR data practices and in the context of international collaboration.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of up to EUR 10 million would allow this activity to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

The main objective of this topic is to set up an operational framework for supporting the overall governance of the EOSC, including the coordination between relevant national initiatives.

Subject to the finally agreed content of the EOSC roadmap[[The EOSC roadmap, to be presented for consultation with the Member States and the Associated Countries by the end of 2017 in view of its endorsement, will include a description of the EOSC governance with the mandate and procedure for selecting the members of its governing bodies.]], the governance of the EOSC should rely on the interplay between three components: a body of representatives of the Member States, the Associated Countries and of the Commission that will decide and oversee the EOSC strategy, setting the broad orientations and the funding of the EOSC; an Executive Board constituted of high-level representatives of the stakeholders that will oversee the EOSC implementation, advising on the way forward and implementing the strategic and funding orientations of the Member States and the Commission; and a Stakeholders Forum open to all relevant stakeholders willing to provide input, e.g. on strategy setting or operational implementation.

The operational framework includes 1) setting up a coordination structure supporting the activities of the EOSC Executive Board that will oversee the EOSC implementation; 2) ensuring coordination between relevant national initiatives/data infrastructures/e-Infrastructures and their federation into the EOSC; 3) fostering FAIR data culture and the uptake of good practices in making data FAIR.

This topic aims to support a decisive shift in service provisioning from the current fragmented setting of national and European e-Infrastructures and thematic data infrastructures to a new federated European ecosystem for research data, fully taking into account the global environment; the new model should be underpinned by a business/funding model and a governance which provide organizational and financial sustainability in the long-term, thus offering added value services to science and innovation actors in Europe.

  • Pursue, under sub-topic (a), the identification and setup of an appropriate legal vehicle to enable the EOSC core functions (taking into account work done by the EOSCpilot project), the definition of statute and role of a EOSC coordination structure for the EOSC implementation, the rules of participation and decision making, and the governance mechanisms.
  • Providing a recognized governance and implementation framework to identify priorities at EU level for new or upgraded research data services, thus avoiding proliferation of isolated, separated and overlapping initiatives.
  • Streamlining advice to policy making and funding authorities concerning the EOSC, including preparation of financial plans and regular update of the EOSC roadmap initially developed by the European Commission.
  • Achievement of a sustainable support to the EOSC governance via the coordination structure enabling the networking, harmonisation and federation of EOSC related initiatives with capacity of delivering the EOSC core functions to a wide range of users across Europe.
  • Piloting and establishing future (co)funding strategies and business/usage models to ensure long-term sustainability.
  • Wide adoption of processes and practices for optimal use of the resources ensuring open, fair and unbiased access of services through the EOSC hub.
  • Progressive removal of technical and organisational barriers to ensure findability, accessibility, interoperability and re-use of research data.
  • Enhancement of FAIR data uptake and contribute to harmonisation of related policies in Europe and facilitate alignment with international initiatives on research data sharing.