31 May 2018   |   News

Research ministers back plans for EU research cloud

Science and policy groups will draft rules of participation in June, and Austrian presidency will sign off on a governance structure in November

EU research ministers backed the European Commission’s blueprint for a federated research cloud following a meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, and will reconvene on November 23 to sign off on the governance structure for the launch phase of the project.

Before the meeting in November, science and policy groups will meet in Brussels on June 11 to discuss rules of participation in the cloud, and draft principles for data management.

The Commission presented a roadmap for the European Open Science Cloud (ESOC) - a voluntary, pan-European federation of existing cloud infrastructures - in March, laying out milestones for setting up the governance structure and the launch of a new round of preparatory projects.

The roadmap proposes a three-layer governance framework for the cloud, comprising an executive board, a supervisory board representing member states and the Commission, and a stakeholders forum, providing input from a wide range of users.

ESOC was first proposed by the Commission in 2016. The roadmap published in March leaves considerable room for manoeuvre on the final shape of the cloud, which aims to let Europe’s 1.7 million researchers access and analyse each other’s data.

For example, the rules of participation may “apply differently to different EOSC participants,” depending on whether they are data users or data providers, scientists or innovators, and if they are based in the EU, or elsewhere.

Never miss an update from Science|Business:   Newsletter sign-up