On Thursday, 23rd September 2021, a seminar to implement the EOSC (European Open Science Cloud) initiative in the Czech Republic was organized under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, the National Library of Technology, the e-INFRA CZ large research infrastructure and the Technology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences. The high-level goal and objective of the seminar was to acquaint the interested parties with the core principles of the Czech national data infrastructure development that were extensively discussed throughout the 1st half of 2021 across representations of the Czech higher education institutions and the Czech Academy of Sciences, as well as other research stakeholders. During the workshop, the concept of expert working groups, which shall define technical and other features of the Czech national data infrastructure, was debated too. The workshop was held in the conference premises of the Technology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences and the event was attended by 100 participants from research organisations and public administration bodies.
European Open Science Cloud
The EOSC initiative is part of the European Digital Single Market strategy and the Open Science policy. The purpose of the EOSC is to build a single European data infrastructure to provide access to scientific data to academia, industries and public administrations. The aim of the EOSC is to make scientific data available according to the FAIR principles so that scientific data are Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. Thanks to the EOSC, it should therefore be possible to share and reuse scientific data in unprecedented intensity, for instance in multidisciplinary research or at international level. In order to implement the EOSC initiative at the European level, the EOSC Association, an international non-profit organisation established under the Belgian national law and based in Brussels, was founded in 2020, bringing together leading European stakeholders in the field of scientific data management.
Implementation of EOSC in the Czech Republic
Following the intensification of work aimed at implementing the EOSC initiative at the European level, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports also intensified preparations for the EOSC implementation in Czechia. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, in close cooperation with the e-INFRA CZ large research infrastructure and the National Library of Technology, set up a working group at the beginning of 2021, thus associating representatives of the Czech e-infrastructures, universities, Czech Academy of Sciences and other interested parties that showed interest to engage. In the spirit of the principles of co-design, co-creation and co-ownership, the big picture for the development of the Czech national data infrastructure was defined, envisioning the components thereof: (1) the EOSC-CZ Secretariat – to be operated as a technical support unit, (2) the National Repository Platform – to be established as the central data management services access point, and (3) the Scientific Repositories – to be built to meet and satisfy the data management needs of the key scientific clusters in the Czech Republic. During the workshop, the concept of expert working groups was discussed too in order to address crucial technical and other features of the Czech national data infrastructure development. The expert working groups shall start their work in autumn 2021 and agree upon a set of common parameters of the distributed Czech national data infrastructure so that individual components are compatible and interoperable.
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports to finance the Czech national data infrastructure
The main tool to support the development of the Czech national data infrastructure in the forthcoming period shall be the Johannes Amos Comenius Operational Programme (OP JAK), which consolidated draft is currently being negotiated with the European Commission. The indicative financial allocation to support the EOSC implementation in the Czech Republic is approx. EUR 100 million. From within this budget, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports plans to support not only the investments to build data repositories, but also develop human resources necessary for the data management operations. Taking into consideration the timeframe for the adoption of the Johannes Amos Comenius Operational Programme (OP JAK) by the European Commission, launch of first calls to support the implementation of the EOSC initiative in the Czech Republic may be expected already in 2022.
Interested stakeholders are welcome to join the working groups that are currently being established to implement the EOSC initiative in the Czech Republic. Registration forms are available on the website of the large research infrastructure e-INFRA CZ and the registration for membership in working groups runs until 15th October 2021.