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Onboarding of the ESFRI research infrastructures to the EOSC

The European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) is exploring integration of ESFRI research infrastructures (ESFRI RIs) into the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). During the joint workshop in London on 30 January 2019, representatives of the EOSC, e-infrastructures, and ESFRI and ESFRI RIs discussed alignment of activities to expose quality tools, services and FAIR research data to 1.7 million European researchers. 

ESFRI RIs are acting according to the ESFRI Strategy report on research infrastructures: Roadmap 2018. They are embracing FAIR data principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Re-usable), being aware of domain differences and demanding processes of making research data FAIR (report and action plan Turning FAIR into Reality). 


Policies steering the development of the EOSC were adopted in 2016 (European Data Initiative, Council Conclusions on the Transition towards an Open Science System) and in 2018 (Council conclusions on the European Open Science Cloud), supported by the EOSC Strategic Implementation Roadmap 2018-2020, and followed by launch of the EOSC Portal in November 2018. Report Prompting an EOSC in practice presents different aspects of practical establishment of the EOSC. 

The EOSC Portal, entry point to the EOSC, was initially established by horizontal e-infrastructures (EOSC-Hub, EOSCpilot, eInfraCetral, OpenAIRE-Advance). Onboarding of vertical research infrastructures to the EOSC is being planned, either domain (e.g., ESFRI RIs) or national ones. 

Within the call Connecting ESFRI infrastructures through Cluster projects (INFRAEOSC-04-2018), research infrastructures are being grouped according to the domains for smoother onboarding to the EOSC. 

An INFRAEOSC-05-2018-2019 sub-topic invited proposals for coordination of EOSC-type activities across the EU Member States and for onboarding of national research infrastructures to the EOSC. 

The ESFRI RIs cluster projects for the EOSC 

The 18 ESFRI Projects and 37 ESFRI Landmarks are consolidated domain research infrastructures with established governance, services, tools and advanced processes of handling quality research data. 

The purpose of the call Connecting ESFRI infrastructures through Cluster projects was to ensure the connection of the ESFRI RIs to the EOSC through cluster projects. Each cluster gathers ESFRI Projects and Landmarks in large thematic domains. ESFRI RIs represent the core component of any cluster, but other relevant research infrastructures, established as ERICs or International Organisations, can also be involved in a cluster. Cluster projects will last for four years. 

The current ESFRI RIs cluster projects are: 
- ENVRI-FAIR - Europe’s environmental research infrastructures; 
- EOSC-life - creating EOSC for the life sciences; 
- ESCAPE - astronomy & particle physics cluster;
- PaNOSC - Photon and Neutron Open Science Cloud; 
- SSHOC - Social Sciences and Humanities Open Science Cloud. 

Some of the common features of ESFRI RIs cluster projects for the EOSC are: 
- Research data policies and standards; 
- Research data management and stewardship; 
- FAIR data sharing and publishing domain data in the EOSC; 
- FAIR tools and services, exposed in the EOSC catalogue of services; 
- Long-term sustainability of FAIR research data and services; 
- Training. 

Merger and integration of horizontal e-infrastructures and vertical research infrastructures in the EOSC are planned. The researcher will not need to be acquainted with technical details of the infrastructures when using them through the EOSC, they will be “invisible” to her. 

Support to the EOSC by two H2020 projects will set-up an operational framework to support overall governance of the EOSC (the EOSC Executive Board, communities of stakeholders). The project retains a high degree of flexibility regarding activities and funding to be able to respond also to the unforeseen challenges. 

FAIRsFAIR will assist the EOSC in creating FAIR-aligned Rules of Participation to establish FAIR compliance of components and practices. The project also plans to openly offer knowledge and training for practical implementation of the FAIR principles. It will closely collaborate with working groups of the EOSC Executive Board and cluster research infrastructures.
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