Germany and the Netherlands call for rapid action on the European Open Science Cloud

At the occasion of today’s Competitiveness Council, Germany and the Netherlands made clear that it is important to boost the development of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and capitalise on the momentum of the digital era. ‘Time for action is now,’ say State Secretaries Georg Schütte (Germany) and Sander Dekker (the Netherlands) in their position paper on the EOSC that was presented during today’s Council meeting in Brussels.

Research data should not be stored away on personal computers or USB-sticks, nor in research infrastructures only researchers themselves know how to use. Making data easily accessible for other researchers will enhance scientific progress. Making them accessible for a broader audience such as citizens and entrepreneurs will greatly boost the impact and utilisation of science. The sooner we are able to make this happen, the better. 

GO FAIR

Schütte and Dekker propose to support the GO FAIR initiative, as a promising approach towards establishing the EOSC. GO FAIR is completely open-to-all and can contribute to a broad involvement of the European science community as a whole. They called on other Member States to join the movement and urged the European Commission to strengthen its efforts through proposing appropriate governance and funding frameworks for the realisation of the EOSC. Finally, they called on the research and e-infrastructure communities throughout Europe to join GO FAIR and participate in shaping its future.

“The European Open Science Cloud is a unique opportunity for Europe to set-up a trusted and open environment for European researchers for handling research data. The EOSC can greatly accelerate the advancement of knowledge, enable economic growth and benefit society.” says State Secretary Georg Schütte (Germany). “It is essential that Member States are involved in the process. We should proceed jointly, and we should do so now.” 

State Secretary Sander Dekker (The Netherlands): “If we put joint effort into this, in a few years, we’ll be able to reap the benefits. Thousands, if not millions, of researchers throughout Europe will be connected. And it’s not only of value for our scientific communities. Sharing and reusing data is also beneficial for our societies and industries. The sooner research and innovation have impact, the better. Europe can show its added value here.” 

FAIR data

Germany and the Netherlands see the need for a fast track implementation initiative to push the further development of the EOSC. The focus is to involve all research disciplines and Member States in order to make research data across Europe findable, accessible, interoperable and re-usable (FAIR). Making data FAIR creates real added value as it allows for combining data sets across disciplines and across borders by different kinds of stakeholders to address pressing societal challenges that are mostly interdisciplinary in nature.