Position paper from the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany on the European Science Cloud
From the point of view of the science organizations in Germany, the EOSC has the potential to:
- Support independent and self-directed research, particularly in terms of research data, in order to advance new methodologies and stimulate innovation
- To ensure the secure management of research data in such a way as to increase their FAIRness (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability and Reusability)
- To establish new and optimise existing discipline-specific and generic services, standards and interfaces, in order to facilitate greater interdisciplinary and international scientific collaboration
- Further embed research data management as a fundamental aspect of the research lifecycle, also pinned to career enhancement
- Augment existing infrastructures, whether national or international, as in the case of the planned national research data infrastructure in Germany (NFDI)
The Alliance of Science Organizations in Germany would generally support an EOSC that pursued these aims.
Acknowledging that EOSC is in the early stages of development, and on the basis of current information provided, the Alliance’s continued support for the EOSC would depend on the level to which the following outlined points are reflected in future plans:
- Scientific success criteria: Define precise goals that allow EOSC services to be shaped by both research institutions and individual researchers on the ground, in a demand-driven fashion and enabling cost-benefit analyses.
- Participative governance: A presentation of the planned decision-making processes within EOSC that would also concretely reflect the diversity of requirements in the scientific research landscape.
- Voluntary uptake: Clarification around the voluntary ethos underpinning the EOSC portfolio, which should respect academic freedom and also be founded on the principles of self-organisation upon which scientific endeavors are established.
- Devolved alignment: A concept for the way existing services in member states interact with the EOSC, as well as how scholarly networks established via universities and research performing organisations should be accommodated within the EOSC in both financial and organisational terms.
- Sustainable financing: Within the overall framework of the EOSC a fuller consideration of what each of the actors is expected to finance, which would lead both to a solid basis for its ambitions, and ensure the reliable continuation of project- and community-based services.
The Alliance is prepared to contribute actively to the further planning for EOSC. It is willing to actively follow-up invitations to participate, to suggest concrete solutions and to provide constructive contributions to the process.
The Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany is a union of the most important German research organisations. It regularly issues statements relating to research policy and funding and the structural development of the German research system. Members of the Alliance include the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service, the German Research Foundation (DFG), the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres, the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK), the Leibniz Association, the Max Planck Society, the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, and the German Council of Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat). In 2018, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is chair of the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany.
Dr. Anke Soemer
Tel.: +49 89 1205 1604
1 The aims of EOSC from the EC are encapsulated in the Implementation Roadmap (SWD) from 14 March 2018 (1), EOSC Declaration from 26 October 2017 (2) based on consultation of the EC Parliament on 16 February 2017 (3) and the European Council on 27 May 2016 (4).