Reaching for Progress: EOSC Symposium 2023 Advances Open Science

Collaboration, information sharing, and open access to research form the foundational pillars for fostering knowledge and driving innovation in the field of science. The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) initiative plays a crucial role in connecting the scientific community across Europe. Recently, EOSC representatives gathered at the much-anticipated EOSC Symposium 2023, held in Madrid from 20th to 22nd September. The event also joined the EOSC ambassadors representing the Czech Republic, who engaged in fruitful discussions about the future steps, priorities, and direction of the initiative.

3 Oct 2023 Marie Hošťálková

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The European EOSC initiative is dedicated to an ambitious goal: creating the essential infrastructure to advance Open Science, promote scientific collaboration, and expedite research. At the recently concluded EOSC Symposium 2023, held in Madrid under the auspices of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU, representatives from across Europe discussed the key messages, future direction, and challenges faced by scientists and researchers daily. This three-day event served as a platform for experts, policymakers, and professionals in science, research, and innovation to exchange ideas. Among the attendees, there were also Czech representatives from Masaryk University, which coordinates the EOSC-CZ project by Institute of Computer Science. And they were joined by colleagues from CESNET and the IT4I national supercomputing centre in Ostrava.

The first day of the EOSC symposium opened Michael Arentoft, Head of Unit, Open Science, DG R&I, European Commission, and his speech followed Gonzales Arévalo, General Director for Research Planning from the Spanish Ministry for Science and Innovation, with his insights. The symposium started with a comprehensive evaluation of the progress and successes of EOSC over the previous year. During the discussions, speakers highlighted the fantastic impact of data sharing in ocean and coastal research, a significant and rewarding project with visible results for all coastal European countries.

Participants attending the panel discussions engaged in elaborate conversations concerning the technical aspects of the EOSC system, such as the creation of a highly secure and superior quality platform for research data collection, and the involvement of the scientific community in driving the EOSC initiative towards its goal. Jiří Marek, Head of the EOSC-CZ Secretariat, expressed his positive outlook on the future development of the EOSC initiative across Europe: "The coming year is like the first day in a new house for EOSC after several years of building and preparation. And it is great to see that this enthusiasm is everywhere, regardless of which European country we are implementing EOSC."

During the symposium's second and third days, the future of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) took centre stage. The presenters engaged in discussions about concrete measures to facilitate the initiative's expansion across all participating countries. The primary objective is to foster participation from various regions within the European research area, thus connecting scientists, scientific and institutions throughout Europe. In research, technology, and innovation, each region contributes its unique narrative and perspective. At this year's symposium, representatives from Croatia, Germany, Greece, and Sweden showcased their accomplishments and offered their perspectives on the ongoing developments within the EOSC landscape in their countries.

The event also featured sessions dedicated to shedding light on the activities of the EOSC Association, which is committed to advance open science, stimulate the creation of new knowledge, inspire, educate, and promote values such as innovation, accessibility, and transparency. Furthermore, discussions touched critical topics like the future financing and management of the EOSC initiative up to 2027, and the brand-new concept of "EOSC Nodes." Olga Bohuslavova, International Relations Specialist of the EOSC-CZ Secretariat, highlighted the annual meeting of the European "EOSC Community" as a valuable source of insights into the complex workings of the entire EOSC ecosystem: "All participants, whether in person or online, were afforded a significant opportunity to provide feedback on the proposed developments, thus wielding substantial influence over the trajectory of EOSC's future."

The EOSC Symposium, held annually, serves as the flagship event for the EOSC initiative in Europe. While representatives from the EOSC initiative in the Czech Republic have participated in previous editions, it was this year that they became fully immersed in its proceedings. In September 2023, a significant milestone was reached when the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports of the Czech Republic (MoEYS) granted approval and funding for the "IPs EOSC-CZ" project, formally establishing the EOSC CZ initiative. It marked the official commencement of EOSC CZ, underscoring the robust commitment to EOSC within the Czech Republic. This commitment was further affirmed through informal bilateral discussions during this year's symposium with representatives of the EOSC initiative hailing from diverse member states. At the EOSC Symposium 2023, representatives from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, and Poland forged agreements to enhance their collaborative efforts, signalling a strengthened cooperation among these nations.

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