The CESNET Association, Masaryk University and VSB – Technical University of Ostrava were accepted as members of the EOSC (European Open Science Cloud) association, the European cloud for open science. By a decision of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, CESNET became a national mandated organization that mediates the official position of the Czech Republic, specifically the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, in the newly formed association.
In the field of scientific data, the European Union seeks to open up science by reducing barriers to free access to scientific data and other R&D results, and promotes their use in practice. Participation in the EOSC Association will enable members of the national e-infrastructure for science and research e-INFRA CZ to directly influence the further development of the EOSC within the EU and at the same time provide the scientific community in the Czech Republic the services of storage, processing, sharing, analysis and reuse in accordance with the EOSC concept.
“EOSC should become a future platform for excellent European science, based on the so-called FAIR Data principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Re-usable) to scientific data. Involvement in EOSC activities is of strategic importance for science in the Czech Republic and strengthens its competitiveness in the international research area, “says Jan Gruntorád, Director of CESNET.
At the same time, a national EOSC platform is being set up. Its current task is to prepare an open science concept connecting users and service providers.
EOSC is designed for users across disciplines. Its task is not to replace existing scientific platforms, but to bring them together in one place and to further strengthen interdisciplinarity and the cross-use of scientific data. The ambitious plan of the European Commission, the project initiator, envisages that EOSC services will be available to 1.7 million European scientists or researchers and another 70 million experts from various sectors.
“The main goal of the national platform is to prepare a national strategy for the application of the basic principles of EOSC in the research environment of the Czech Republic. The full use of the potential of the unifying objectives of the EOSC is not possible without active national contributions and the clearest possible idea of where and how to use the EOSC in the environment of specific states. And we would like to prepare just such an idea within the national EOSC platform, “says Luděk Matyska, representative of the CESNET association in the EOSC Association.
The EOSC initiative was proposed in 2016 by the European Commission as part of a strategy to build a competitive data and knowledge economy in Europe. The EOSC cloud is primarily intended for the scientific community of the member states of the European Union, but users from other states can also join it. To the present day, 33 countries have signed up to the initiative, with around 150 institutions joining the EOSC Association in the first round. The aim of the EOSC is to create a platform that scientists, researchers and other professionals will be able to use without unnecessary restrictions, going beyond the protection of their own data. It is also intended to provide funding for the EOSC initiative that will allow the provision of related services free of charge from end-user researchers. A key condition is to respect the FAIR principles, which define how to openly and safely handle published data.
The national e-infrastructure for science and research e-INFRA CZ provides comprehensive capacities and resources for the transmission, storage and processing of scientific data to all entities engaged in research and development in the Czech Republic, regardless of the industry in which they operate. It offers them a comprehensive portfolio of ICT services, without which today’s top research and development cannot be realized.