Words: Sarah Jones, EOSC Engagement Manager at GÉANT and member of the EOSC Board of Directors
As a previous member of the EOSC Executive Board and one of the new directors for the EOSC Association, it’s fantastic to see how progress continues and to witness the level of engagement demonstrated by the NREN community.
Following the EOSC Association General Assembly in December 2020, work is progressing full steam on coordinating the infrastructure to support researchers to share data across Europe. 187 Members and Observers joined the Association and a Board of Directors was elected, chaired by Professor Karel Luyben as President. The Board elected Professor Marialuisa Lavitrano as Vice-president and Professor Klaus Tochtermann as Treasurer. The GÉANT Association is well represented with two Board positions and seven NRENs being appointed as Mandated Organisations to represent national interests.
Since the new year, the EOSC Association has been busy drafting proposals for Advisory Groups. These will take forward the recommendations of the previous EOSC Working Groups and act as a conduit to help solicit community input and help steer the activities of EOSC projects. I ran a couple of webinars in late February to consult on the proposals and amended these in light of community feedback. It is anticipated that charters for groups will be drafted over the coming months so they can be established by Summer 2021. I really look forward to seeing the outputs of the Executive Board being progressed further.
The EOSC Association has also been busy recruiting roles for its Secretariat. It’s in the final stages of negotiating the Secretary General post and has drafted a job description for a Chief Technology Officer to provide a steer on the technical architecture and implementation of EOSC. Further recruitment to support office management, communications and engagement is anticipated once these posts are appointed.
A critical stakeholder that the Association will liaise with is the forthcoming EOSC Future project. This proposal is now in the final stages of revision with the European Commission and is anticipated to start in late Spring / early Summer. The project will focus on advancing the system of systems approach, enabling the federation of Research Infrastructures and composability of data and services from different domains. The five research cluster projects are members of the consortium and have developed science use cases which will be pursued to address societal challenges. In my view, bringing the research infrastructures and e-infrastructures together is one of the most critical factors for the success of EOSC.
Many other new EOSC-related projects have also started and again the NREN community is well represented within these. Five projects have been funded under the INFRAEOSC-07 call which aims to increase the use of services within the EOSC Portal. These include the DICE project, EGI-ACE, OpenAIRE-Nexus, RELIANCE and C-SCALE. A close collaboration between these projects and EOSC Future is envisaged.
Much is happening, and we will continue to share updates and invite community inputs via our programme of infoshares and coordination meetings. Read all about the GÉANT Infoshare series and learn about upcoming events: https://dev.connect.geant.org/2021/02/24/infoshares-sharing-knowledge-for-the-benefit-of-the-geant-community-march-2021-schedule
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