EU science cloud project to get €950M investment

13 Jul 2021 | News

EU ambition to unify data sharing systems in the European Open Science Cloud poised to pick up speed in next decade – and now it’s run as a public-private partnership under Horizon Europe

The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) will get a cash injection of €950 million in the next decade to continue its mission of improving the storage, sharing and reuse of research data across borders and scientific disciplines, as part of a €22 billion 11 industrial partnership package under Horizon Europe.

Since EOSC was first proposed in May 2015, the European Commission has run a number of pilots to federate research data, investing €320 million in 50 projects to test the waters and create infrastructure between 2018 and 2020. Now, a new public private partnership will beef up investments and put research organisations, funding agencies, service providers and other stakeholders, providing most of the money, in the driving seat.

The aim is to give researchers access to open and robust data, which often ends up in inaccessible servers around Europe. "This partnership will pave the way for deepening open science practices in the new European Research Area and for contributing to the EU digital agenda,” said Karel Luyben, president of the European Open Science Cloud Association, the group representing public and private organisations in the partnership. “It will trigger better connections between research infrastructures and e-Infrastructures to leverage data services existing in Europe.”

The overall objective is to define standards for data sharing and develop the services and tools to enable researchers to find, access, reuse and combine results from all areas of research. By 2030, the hope is to link two million researchers to the EOSC portal, which will serve as the universal access point to different data repositories around Europe.

“The European Partnership for EOSC will support all parts of Horizon Europe and enhance the possibilities for researchers to share information,” said EU research commissioner Mariya Gabriel. That will help Europe become a world leader in the application of digital technologies in data driven healthcare, connected and automated mobility systems and circular industrial production processes, she said.

Editor’s note: A previous version of the story suggested the EOSC partnership will be allocated 22 billion. This was in fact the budget of an 11-partnership package which included the EOSC partnership. The amount was corrected to €950 million on 15 July.

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