News archive - [Event Review] Workshop on the European Open Science Cloud: governance and funding

A workshop on governance and funding of the EOSC took place in Brussels on 29 June.


Member State representatives were invited to express their views on the preparation of a roadmap outlining the governance and funding of the EOSC initiative.


The need for a roadmap was mentioned by the European Commission in its Communication of 19 April 2016, which was the first step in a process of engagement with Member States on the implementation of the European Open Science Cloud.

The workshop was supported by a discussion paper (303 KB) and a short questionnaire (205 KB) , which were sent in advance and discussed at the meeting.  The Commission will now elicit further responses from Member States via the questionnaire and consolidate the findings from the day with other consultation exercises and empirical evidence of scientific data infrastructures in Europe.

Based on the  results of the workshop, the roadmap will be finalised by the beginning of 2017. Following this, the Commission will prepare a set of guidelines by the end of 2017, including an action plan to translate FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) principles into practical tools, rules of engagement for stakeholders, operational concepts for future governance and financing models. These documents aim to make the roadmap directly operational.

Member States will play an active role in developing the roadmap and guidelines for the EOSC through their representatives in the Council (Research Working Party, ERAC etc.), and in programming advisory bodies, as well as in the ministries, the European Economic and Social Committee etc.


Concerning funding, the workshop highlighted the need to re-focus Horizon 2020 (and the next Framework Programme) to extend already existing scientific data infrastructures beyond the lifecycle of a project, and to integrate and federate them in more sustainable facilities. Relevant support from Member States is vital, since there is already a high level of awareness about the need to reduce fragmentation and duplication of costs. Several funding models were discussed including short-term project-based funding complemented by long term self-sustainability. A combination of structural, innovation, competitive funds and user fees could support both the creation and self-sustainability of the EOSC. Several options will be put forward for further, more detailed consultation. Horizon 2020 already offers a significant envelope of 2 billion euros to build the EOSC. A further 4.7 billion euros will need to be covered from combined resources where Member States will play a vital role.


Concerning the governance of the EOSC, alternative models are currently being developed based on existing governance resources at both European (e.g. GEANT) and global level (e.g. the Belmont Forum); the outcome of the workshop underlined the strong need to clarify the differences between architecture and governance.

In terms of architecture, there was some indication that the EOSC will act as a trusted third party between scientific data demands (traditionally funded by public money) and cloud-based scientific services (the private marketplace side), based on a light-weight system for FAIR data sharing.

A clear governance structure is needed to take care of the 'rules of the game' and oversee multiple decision flows, respecting the subsidiarity principle. The governance of the EOSC will help prevent duplication of efforts, fragmentation and isolated solutions. Moreover, it will have the capacity to streamline decision-making processes in relation to scientific data sharing (a 'one-stop shop' in Europe for decisions related to scientific data sharing).

Other topics

Other key EOSC topics - mainly technical and a few political - were discussed in the workshop, including FAIR Data, interoperability, data management plans, connectivity, standards, interdisciplinarity, cloud-based services, joint procurement rules of engagement, the Digital Single Market, various options for a "legal vehicle" to implement the roadmap and channel funds, Human Resources and skills, the need for core data experts, and international cooperation.


Geographical focus
  • Europe
  • European Union (EU 27)
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary
  • General

Entry created by Anna Sirocco on August 25, 2016
Modified on August 25, 2016