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The EOSC Symposium 2023 in Madrid: A recap

© Marthe Bierens (TU Graz)

The EOSC Symposium took place from 20th until 22nd of September. It combined a captivating and interactive programme that showcased successes and challenges that have happened during the last year and future developments with networking, good food and the warm atmosphere of the bustling city of Madrid. All partners of the Tripartite Partnership (the European Commission, the Member States and the EOSC-Association) delivered important plenary and keynote talks, and breakout sessions allowed projects and connected initiatives to provide a good overview of the current state of EOSC.

One of the most talked about plenary sessions introduced us to the concept of EOSC nodes, recently introduced by the EC following ideas of previous EOSC-related projects: it is now envisioned that EOSC, or more precisely the EOSC Federation, will be built up by a network of connected thematic and national nodes, together with the EOSC EU “reference node”. In the upcoming year, the European Commission and EOSC-Association, together with the Member States and thematic communities, will further develop the EOSC node concept, defining and a minimum set of requirements to become a node.

Another topic on the agenda of interest not just for EOSC Symposium attendees but providing the only open session of the Symposium, was to dive deeper in the topic of dataspaces. The Data Space Support Centre (DSSC) provided an introduction on what dataspaces are and can bring to a community, not just from a research but also from a commercial perspective. The panel discussion that followed contributed by pointing out the current state of development of dataspaces. EOSC is invited to become part of these developments as a transversal dataspace.

The EOSC Symposium also looked towards the future of EOSC by discussing possible different governance models. Options include a “standard” governance model, in which a single entity leads the whole endeavor, or a “hybrid” one, where governance is split among several stakeholders, meaning the EC, MS/AC, and possibly a legal entity that could be an evolved form of the current EOSC-A. These possibilities will be further explored with the partners in the Tripartite partnership. The years 2025 & 2027 will be key flashpoints to establish how EOSC is governed, financed and operated in the future. Looking even further ahead, it is to be expected that EU MS will have a key role in the post-2027 decision-making process for EOSC.

The EOSC Symposium reached out past current EOSC communities by reminding all present that EOSC does not operate in isolation: initiatives like data spaces, Destination Earth and EDICs will offer opportunities for synergies and joint developments with EOSC. To include not just the European landscape and truly collaborate with counterparts elsewhere in the world, EOSC is aiming to open its scope to include not just research following the FAIR principles, but also the CARE principles for Indigenous Data Governance.

All this and many more topics were discussed during the EOSC Symposium. Breakout sessions covered topics like EOSC contributions to the EU missions, trust in sharing sensitive data, harmonised PID practices, public authorities as an EOSC user group and many more. All presentations have been uploaded on the EOSC-A website for everyone to revisit.

You can find all of them on: https://symposium23.eoscfuture.eu/programme/