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May 30, 2024
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Introducing EOSC Beyond: Spearheading the Evolution of the European Open Science Cloud

May 30, 2024

The kick-off meeting of the EOSC Beyond project convened on 16-18 April 2024 at the Amsterdam Science Park, hosted by the project coordinator EGI Foundation and funded by the European Commission, signified a major step forward in evolving the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) within the Horizon Europe framework program.

About EOSC Beyond 

EOSC Beyond is committed to enhancing the EOSC ecosystem by developing innovative technical solutions specifically designed to meet the needs of its users. These solutions enable developers to effortlessly integrate a wide array of EOSC resources, thereby improving accessibility for researchers. Beyond that, and through a federated network of pilot Nodes operating at various levels and domains, EOSC Beyond introduces a new paradigm for EOSC, fostering national, regional, and thematic collaboration. Leveraging co-design methodologies and partnerships with diverse initiatives and research infrastructures, EOSC Beyond is poised to accelerate scientific innovation and drive forward the Open Science movement.

Our CTO, Paolo Manghi, states- "With EOSC Beyond, we aim at designing and prototyping the EOSC federation, the next generation EOSC EC Node, fostering synergies and interoperability between EOSC Nodes, advancing composability of services, and advancing sharing and access capabilities of science across Europe and the world."

Improving existing EOSC Core services and framework 

EOSC Beyond is dedicated to enhancing the current EOSC Core services and framework. This includes improvements to various aspects such as Authentication and Authorization Infrastructure (AAI), Persistent Identifiers, Resource Catalogue, Metadata Knowledge Graph, Marketplace, Accounting, Monitoring & Messaging, Helpdesk, Platform architecture, EOSC Resource Profiles and Models, Operations Policy recommendations, Release Management, and Software Quality Assurance.

By collaborating with key EOSC technology providers and engaging with various research communities, in EOSC Beyond we aim to create an EOSC that meets researchers' needs, delivering innovation for the next phase of EOSC."- Diego Scardaci, EGI Foundation, EOSC Beyond Coordinator

Developing new EOSC Core services

The new EOSC Core services expected to be developed by the project, to further elevate the platform's capabilities are the following.

  • EOSC Integration Suite - A comprehensive portfolio of software adapters designed to simplify integration between horizontal and multidisciplinary resources. These adapters facilitate the seamless sharing and reuse of software libraries between research communities and technology providers, enabling collaborative solutions for scientific applications.

  • EOSC Execution Framework - A dynamic framework enabling machine-composability and the dynamic deployment of EOSC resources. This framework delivers an extendible set of composability-based applications, supported by an enriched EOSC Interoperability Framework Registry and Deployment Service, facilitating on-demand service deployment in hybrid cloud infrastructures.

  • EOSC Core Innovation Sandbox - A dedicated infrastructure serving as a service incubation and technology testbed for the next generation of EOSC Core functionalities. Equipped with automation tools for testing and validation, the sandbox allows for the prototyping and validation of enhanced and new EOSC Core services, ensuring seamless integration with the EOSC Platform.

Piloting regional and thematic EOSC Nodes and Data Spaces 

EOSC Beyond will actively pilot regional and thematic EOSC Nodes and Data Spaces, connecting national, regional, and thematic infrastructures to the European EOSC Node. These pilot Nodes serve a vital role in integrating, testing, and validating the solutions developed within EOSC Beyond.

EOSC Pilot Nodes 

More specifically, the pilots are from the following partners, representing a thematic, national, and regional ecosystem with a specific goal;

  • NFDI (National Node): Connecting German research data infrastructure to EOSC, integrating domain-specific services.
  • e-Infra CZ (National Node): Creating a national data infrastructure for Czech research data, integrating services with EOSC.
  • NI4OS (Regional Node): Gathering resources from South-Eastern Europe, maintaining integration with EOSC.
  • LifeWatch (Environmental): Integrating metadata catalogue into EOSC, improving compatibility with EOSC Core.
  • METROFood-RI (Health and Food): Implementing FoodCASE as a pilot data space, integrating METROFood-RI AAI with EOSC.
  • Instruct-ERIC (Structural Biology): Providing automatic synchronisation between ARIA and EOSC catalogue.

EOSC Thematic Data Spaces  

Furthermore, a list of thematic Data spaces, services in Europe that will be integrated, to enhance the capabilities and value to EOSC end users, are:

  • CNB-CSIC (Structural Biology): Extending Cryo-EM Validation Report Service, ensuring FAIRness for research outputs.
  • ENES (Climate Change): Further integrating EOSC Core services, exposing ENES Data Space applications through EOSC Core Execution Framework.
  • CESSDA (Social Science): Integrating domain-specific services for Social Sciences into EOSC, supporting FAIR SSH metadata generation.

Improving interoperability for science in Europe and beyond 

The kick-off meeting also welcomed guests from the European Commission, the EOSC Association, and the OSCARS project, a testament to EOSC Beyond's willingness to collaborate with other key actors in the EOSC community.

As part of the broader effort to enhance interoperability, EOSC Beyond collaborates with the Data Space Support Centre (DSSC) to develop pan-European Data Spaces. EOSC stands out as a key sectoral data space for research data envisioned to interoperate with other sectors such as health, the Green Deal, and agriculture. By implementing technical, governance, access, and semantic mechanisms within the EOSC Platform, EOSC Beyond aims to facilitate seamless interoperability. Additionally, EOSC Beyond will engage with the SIMPL Smart Middleware Platform for Cloud-to-Edge Federations to ensure compatibility and interoperability.

OpenAIRE's Key Role 

OpenAIRE, as an EU e-Infrastructure and key provider of the EOSC Core services – EOSC Knowledge Graph, EOSC Providers Dashboard, EOSC Accounting for Research Products – OpenAIRE Interoperability Guidelines, participates in the EOSC Beyond project in various technical and non-technical activities.  

OpenAIRE co-leads key activities in the EOSC Execution Framework, focusing on the EOSC Execution Framework, i.e., Composability and Deployment. We emphasize the importance of interoperability frameworks for integrating, registering, and deploying services. These frameworks ensure that scholarly works, registered via OpenAIRE Graph and added through PROVIDE, are properly managed. OpenAIRE actively supports the FAIR principles through its services and collaboration with EOSC.

On the technical side, OpenAIRE will participate in the enhanced architecture of the EOSC platform, towards extending the capabilities of EOSC Core services to connect with the regional/national/thematic nodes, assisting on the EOSC resource profiles and models, on the interoperability and design of the EOSC integration suite.

Additionally, OpenAIRE will contribute to:

  • Innovation management and service promotion
  • Supporting user communities by creating new materials
  • Participating in the communication and dissemination of project outcomes
  • Organizing events and workshops

Building on its experience, OpenAIRE will assist in exploring EOSC Core Sustainability via the innovation sandboxes, where users' communities will provide feedback and guide the process on what is best for value for users.

“The importance of open scholarly communication in the deployment of EOSC cannot be overstated for OpenAIRE. This is a great opportunity for us to collaborate with the candidate EOSC Nodes and the RIs, and work towards a decentralised space that is more user-oriented, and yet a bit more integrated. With an experience of over a decade we want to put forward our services, the OpenAIRE Graph, the OpenAIRE Guidelines (interoperability), and the PROVIDE service for data source enrolment, to accelerate the EOSC federation.” - Natalia Manola, CEO of OpenAIRE 

For more information and updates, please visit the project website. Follow EOSC Beyond on LinkedIn for the latest developments. 


-Project Coordinator: Diego Scardaci