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EOSC partnership status bolsters research and innovation

20th July 2021
Alex Lynn

In a €22bn move to boost research and innovation investments, the EU Commission has awarded Europe’s Open Science Cloud (EOSC), alongside ten other special European programmes, ‘European Partnership’ status to tackle societal challenges like climate change, sustainability, and zero emissions on an epic scale.

EOSC will be granted special status as a co-programmed European Partnership. This new European Partnership status will fortify it with a critical mass of funding, making it easier to improve the storing, sharing and reusing of research data across borders and scientific disciplines.

President of the EOSC Association, Karel Luyben, said: "This partnership will pave the way for deepening Open Science practices in the new European Research Area and for contributing to the EU digital agenda. EOSC shall be seen as the research foundation of all sectoral Data Spaces defined in the European strategy for data. There is an enormous innovation potential arising from combining research data with public and private data.”

“The EOSC partnership will promote best practices by the research communities and foster interdisciplinary research. It will trigger better connections between Research infrastructures and e-Infrastructures to leverage data services existing in Europe”. The EU Commission presented the EOSC Partnership during the EU Research and Innovation Days last 23rd June, and the Memorandum of Understanding with the newly formed EOSC Association will be signed shortly, bringing the total of new European Partnerships launched to 11. The EOSC Partnership Board also held its first meeting last 25th June 2021, officially putting partnership into action.

European Partnerships – initiatives that bring the EU and private or public partners together to support research and innovation activities – have ambitious goals to overcome significant climate and sustainability challenges. The EC intends to make Europe the first climate-neutral economy, and EOSC can help deliver on the European Green Deal and support the digital transformation of science.

The partnership represents a new Governance model for EOSC, placing stakeholders across Europe firmly in the driving seat. It will be an essential ingredient in changing the way research is carried out. Leveraging the EOSC Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA),  the partnership has several key objectives to ensure that standards are defined, and services and tools developed to enable researchers to find, access, reuse and combine results from all areas of research. As a result, Open Science practices and skills become the new normal and are rewarded and taught across Europe and establish a sustainable and federated infrastructure enabling sharing of scientific results.

Commissioner Mariya Gabriel said: “The European Partnership for the EOSC will support all parts of Horizon Europe and enhance the possibilities for researchers to share information…My ambition is that Europe, through research and innovation, will become a world leader in the application of digital technologies in data-driven healthcare, connected and automated mobility systems, circular industrial production processes, and everything we call waste today is recycled, cleaner batteries, more affordable and reliable than today."

Commissioner Thierry Breton said: "We can build on the huge R&I capacities, but we need all stakeholders of our industrial ecosystems to work together. The partnerships we are signing today are an important step towards achieving these objectives. They are essential to enabling synergies between the European Member States and private investments and bringing together the ecosystems' different priorities and agendas. The global race on the technologies of the future is happening now. With these partnerships, Europe is coming at the forefront of global development."

Working to improve research and innovation by making scientific discoveries Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable (FAIR), the Open Science Cloud is set to remove the unnecessary duplication of results and costs involved in multiple organisations working on the same problems. Instead, by making research open access, these developments will lead to new insights and innovations, higher research productivity and improved reproducibility in science.

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