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Jun 19, 2022
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Making Open Science the new normal

Jun 19, 2022

Probably, it should not surprise that the first in-person meeting of the year is a policy event to meet and discuss the vision, the opportunities and challenges of making Open Science the "new normal". The EOSC Policy event took place at the University of Strasbourg on 3 May 2022, in one of the countries of the Presidency of the European Council and highly active in EOSC and in the policy strategies and implementation for Open science.

The key questions that were answered during the meeting addressed: i) the past, the present and the future of EOSC; ii) what the EOSC functions for the researchers, policymakers and society are; iii) the alignment between the European Commission and the national policies of the EU (European Union) the Member States. The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) is included in the European Research Area (ERA) Agenda (2022-2024) in the Pact for Research and Innovation in priority areas for joint actions on Open Science.

“Science uses data and methodology to build scientific knowledge […]. The European Strategy is very clear: it focuses on putting people first in the development of technology and in defending and promoting European values in the digital world”.

Carlos Zorrinho, Member of the European Parliament, Portugal.

“The role of EOSC Future is to connect the dots to the SRIA (Strategic Research and Innovation agenda). […] We see multiple stakeholders working together on realising EOSC not just on the technologies, but also on the contents, on metadata, and making metadata schemas comparable. We have to connect with the researchers and that means building on trust and willingness to collaborate”.

Ron Dekker, EOSC Future Project Director.

The conviction of making Open Science the new ‘normality’ to perform research was highlighted by speakers once more, focusing on renewing citizens' trust by bringing together local and national efforts toward Open Science at international policies and funding. As pointed out by Michel Schouppe, Senior Expert and team leader on the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) within the Open Science Unit of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG R&I), the drivers for policymakers into investing in EOSC have to do with the trust from citizens in science and for research providing effective solutions towards societal and economic issues, while reinforcing and supporting the innovation with transparent scientific methods.

"In Serbia, we have had our national policy since 2018 and in the new one, we added EOSC, but what we are missing is much more monitor and much more involvement of people in Open Science policies".

Biljana Kosanović, Information Specialist at the University of Belgrade.

National and regional coordination was another topic that emerged. Ms Kosanović, OpenAIRE's national coordinator in Serbia since 2014 and a key participant in the NI4OS regional EOSC project, underlined that the changes in national policies had been supported by a small portion/number of the researchers funded by the European Commission and by the regional projects and the OpenAIRE network.

"The person, the user, the developer, the administrators should be at the centre of everything, with kings and queens to be the researchers. We need the training, the education, the stewardship; we need new skills! And that is something we have been working on, but it has to be a more central topic in the agenda".

Yannis Ioannidis, EOSC Future Coordinator.

In the closing remarks, Professor Yannis Ioannidis, former Chair of the OpenAIRE AMKE General Assembly and Executive Board, underlined how this Policy EOSC Event in Strasbourg had been of key importance in renewing the collaboration towards all actors that are contributing to the EOSC governance, alignment with the European Commission and the stakeholders involved in the technical development of EOSC as brought forward by the core implementation project, EOSC Future.

Paraphrasing the intervention of Karel Luyben, President of the EOSC Association and Rector Magnifucus Emeritus of the Delft University, who spoke about what EOSC should be for researchers, Prof. Ioannidis concluded: "Let's keep collaborating, keep dreaming, and keeping chasing the definition of happiness in EOSC".