The European Open Science Cloud: A Very Short Summery

Very Short Introduction to the EOSC

For the European Commission the EOSC “is a trusted digital platform for the scientific community, providing seamless access to data and interoperable services that address the whole research data cycle, from discovery and mining to storage, management, analysis and re-use across borders and scientific disciplines”.((European Commission, 2019, p. 2.))

The central goal of the EOSC is nothing less than global EU leadership in research data management. This goes hand in hand to ensure that European researchers have access to all the benefits of data-driven research.((Achim Streit und Jos van Wezel, 2021, p. 31.)) But EOSC is not a cloud “made in Brussels”((Budroni et al., 2019, p. 132.)), it should help Europe to build a “Schengen Area for digital Data“.((Budroni et al., 2019, p. 140.)) From a more technical perspective EOSC is an integration layer. It aims at establishing interoperability among the existing and forthcoming European Research Infrastructures. So, by federating existing research data infrastructures, the EOSC leverages national investments and adds value in terms of scale, interdisciplinary and faster innovation.((

The implementation is being driven forward continuously based on the EOSC Roadmap.((European Commission, 2018.)) The ESOC was launched in 2018 and strongly supported by Horizon 2020.((European Commission, 2016.)) The EOSC will also be supported by the Horizon Europe programme, so the idea of open science will become the modus operandi of Horizon Europe even more.(( A full list of EOSC projects can be found here:

In the governance of the EOSC, two aspects are important for MPG researcher. The first is the “EOSC Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda”, where possible developments of all central aspects are outlined.((EOSC Executive Board &, 2021.)) This publication is highly recommended for a deeper understanding of the subject. The second point is the EOSC Association, who signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the European Commission provide the legal basis of EOSC and to co-design and deploy a European Research Data Commons.

EOSC Elements

The EOSC does not consist of one central element but can be seen as a “system of systems”. This wide-ranging architecture means that the overall system is not immediately obvious. For this reason, we have listed and briefly described some of the different sub-areas below. This is a very rough orientation and serves as an initial overview for you as a MPG scientist.((Achim Streit und Jos van Wezel, 2021, pp. 34.))

EOSC Core Elements Organising and functioning of the various EOSC governance bodies.

EOSCpilot: Development of a Governance Board and the Executive Board. Both bodies are to manage the development of EOSC in close cooperation and with direct and comprehensible stakeholders and at the political level. The project is finished already, but the developed science demonstrators are still available. This could be of particular interest to scientist. It was led and coordinated by Max Planck Society, through Max Planck Computing and Data Facility.

EOSC-Synergy: Build capacity, developing capability and Software Quality as a Service (SQaaS).

EOSC-Future: It will integrate and connect infrastructures, communities and initiatives in Open Science to further develop the EOSC.

EOSC Enhance: Providing a delivery channel with the EOSC-Portal and improve discoverability of EOSC services registered in the EOSC catalogue.

EGI-ACE: The Advanced Computing for EOSC will deliver the EOSC Compute Platform and will contribute to the EOSC Data Commons.

DICE: The Data Infrastructure Capacity for EOSC will increase the storage resources available through the EOSC Portal.

EOSC Integration Elements

EOSC-Pillar: Contribution to the EOSC from Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, and Italy.

NI4OS Europe: Building a community of South-East European countries towards the ESOC.

EOSC-Nordic: Integration of Northern European and Baltic states into the EOSC.

IBERGRID: This frameworks connects Spain and Portugal to the EOSC.

eInfraCentral: e-Infrastructure ”market place” to initiate new service offerings.

FAIRsFAIR: Practical and usable solutions to implement the FAIR principles throughout the data lifecycle.

NEANIAS: Integration of underwater, atmospheric, and space research services into the EOSC.

OpenAIRE-Advance: Supporting Open Access and Open Data in Europe.

EOSC and European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI)

ENVRI-FAIR: Developing FAIR data services for ESFRIs and link them to the EOSC.

EOSC-Life: Biological and medical ESFRIs establish an open, digital and collaborative space for biological and medical research.

ESCAPE: Astronomy and particle physics ESFRIs establish a working link with EOSC.

EXPANDS: Offering photon and neutron science data management services in the EOSC.

PaNOSC: Application of FAIR principles to ESFRIs in the field of photon and neutron science.

SSHOC: Integrating humanities and social sciences in the EOSC.

What does that mean for Max Planck Researcher?

The EOSC consists of many sub-elements and is spread across many countries in Europe.((European Commission. Directorate General for Research and Innovation, 2020.)) On the face of it, it is not easy to answer what concrete added value the EOSC offers for the individual MPG scientist. For the Max Planck Society, it is of fundamental importance to contribute to these developments in the interest of the excellence of basic research in Germany in an international context.((Ronzheimer, 2020.))

EOSC is an amalgamation of existing research data infrastructures in Europe and a network of FAIR data and associated services for science.(( Therefore, see the EOSC as a platform for finding the most diverse data-related services in Europe for yourself. You can find many things there from special data repositories to RDM training material that may be of interest to you as a scientist.

For a good introduction to EOSC, check out this webinar page on the EOSC portal. Furthermore, the EOSC Community Use Case might be of help for you. And if you want to delve even deeper into the matter, then it is recommended these main documents might be of interest.

What can I do to get more information?

For general questions on EU funding projects, MPG scientists can contact their local funding officers. If you have questions regarding the EOSC specifically, please contact the colleagues Dr. Raphael Ritz (raphael [dot] ritz [at] mpcdf [dot] mpg [dot] de) and Dr. Johannes Reetz (johannes [dot] reetz [at] mpcdf [dot] mpg [dot] de), both from the Max Planck Computing and Data Facility. They would be very happy to help you as an MPG researcher.

Further Reading

Achim Streit, & Jos van Wezel. (2021): Deutschland in der European Open Science Cloud. In M. Putnings, H. Neuroth, & J. Neumann (Ed.), Praxishandbuch Forschungsdatenmanagement (S. 31–52). De Gruyter Saur.

Budroni, P., Burgelman, J.-C., & Schouppe, M. (2019): Architectures of Knowledge: The European Open Science Cloud. ABI Technik, 39(2), 130–141.

EOSC Executive Board & (Ed.). (2021): Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda of the European Open Science Cloud.

European Commission (Ed.) (2016): European Cloud Initiative—Building a competitive data and knowledge economy in Europe. European Comission.

European Commission (2018): Implementation Roadmap for the European Open Science Cloud (p. 34) [Commission Staff Working Document]. European Commission.

European Commission (Ed.) (2019): European open science cloud: A new paradigm for innovation and technology. Publications Office.

European Commission and Directorate General for Research and Innovation (2020): Country sheets analysis: Report from the EOSC Executive Board Working Group (WG) Landscape. Publications Office.

Ronzheimer, M. (2020): Eine Wolke für die Forschung. In Neues Deutschland.

Thanks for the hints and comments for this text by Raphael Ritz and Johannes Reetz.