A Science|Business Cloud Consultation Group session in the framework of the EuroScience Open Forum 2018
In April 2016 the European Commission laid out a broad vision of how cloud computing can transform science in Europe. The plan, for a European Open Science Cloud, would federate existing online services and stimulate new ones so researchers in any domain, country or discipline can easily share data, tools and knowledge. These are ambitious plans. If successful, the EOSC could make todays science more efficient, and tomorrows revolutionary. It could lay the groundwork for a new century of European leadership in global science. But there are many obstacles mostly political and economic, rather than technical. Cloud computing is a massive global marketplace, with well-proven technologies. Hundreds of Europe's top laboratories, universities and research organisations already make use of the cloud. But their systems are mostly incompatible; and many scientists remain reluctant to put their precious data online. A maze of EU and national regulations on data protection, privacy and copyright will need to be navigated. Financial concerns abound: Who will pay for these services, and how? And then there are politically thorny issues of trade and industrial policy: How open, to researchers and suppliers internationally, will the EOSC really be? This session will debate the obstacles and ask the audience to vote on whether they want the cloud or not.