EUROPEAN OPEN SCIENCE CLOUD LAUNCHED

EUROPEAN OPEN SCIENCE CLOUD LAUNCHED
07/12/2018

The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), a virtual one-stop shop for researchers to share, access and reuse data, was officially launched at the University of Vienna on 23 November, giving scientists, open data advocates, research institutions and

The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), a virtual one-stop shop for researchers to share, access and reuse data, was officially launched at the University of Vienna on 23 November, giving scientists, open data advocates, research institutions and policymakers a first glimpse of the portal.

It is part of the EU’s vision for an open-border, cross-disciplinary, digital future for science. In a video message to mark the launch, Carlos Moedas, EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, compared the EOSC to 16th-century English coffeehouses where the coming together of people of different backgrounds sparked new ideas. The portal, which has been two years in the making, joins up existing infrastructures under one umbrella platform. It is intended to free up time for more research, crucially link up data across disciplines and change the culture of research and science.

The idea of the EOSC, which can be viewed at eosc-portal.eu, is to make publicly funded research data open for anyone to investigate and use. The portal launched in Vienna will now undergo further refinement as scientists begin to use the system before it is fully launched in 2020. Up till now there was no tool which allowed the 1.7 million active researchers in Europe to share and reuse data across member states, institutions and disciplines.

One scientist spoke enthusiastically of being able to access data and understand it within days as opposed to years. No doubt the new platform will require some adjustments to make it more user-friendly and gain widespread acceptance by the European research community, but the ambition is that EOSC becomes a standard for sharing research data just like WhatsApp is for exchanging messages.

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