Enable the open sharing of knowledge and the re-use of research outputs, including through the development of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC)


The amount of data generated or used in public-funded research and innovation (R&I) activities is growing exponentially. However, a significant part of this data (i) is not shared openly, (ii) never makes it to a trusted and sustainable repository, (iii) is poorly annotated or not formatted in a standardised way allowing for machine-readability. Consequently, many research experiments producing or based on this data cannot be reproduced, increasing the risk of mistrust in their outcomes. Efficiency and productivity of the research is also reduced. The cost of not having FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable) research data has been estimated to more than € 10 billion every year for Europe.

This ERA Policy Agenda action should allow a step change across scientific communities and research infrastructures in Europe towards open sharing, seamless access and reliable re-use of data and all other digital objects produced along the research life cycle e.g. methods, protocols, software and publications. The development of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) is a key enabler for this to happen as the material and immaterial infrastructure sustaining the transition to open science and digital research.

The action requires a strong involvement by the Member States (MS) and Associated Countries (AC) to engage scientific communities and research infrastructures in Europe towards: (i) FAIR management of scientific data and other publicly funded research digital output such as codes and software, and (ii) the sharing of these research outputs following the principle “as open as possible, as closed as necessary”.

This is at the core of the EOSC ambition to provide European researchers, innovators, companies and citizens with an accessible, trusted and open distributed environment where they can publish, find and re-use each other’s data and tools for research, innovation and educational purposes, as well as access relevant services. The EOSC Association involves 238 participating entities including 161 members and 73 observers.

The ERA Action aims at the following outcomes:

  1. Deploy Open Science principles in synergy with other relevant ERA actions and identify Open Science best practices by the various communities to progressively make Open Science (OS) ‘the new normal’.
  2. Deploy the core components and services of EOSC, federate existing data infrastructures in Europe and develop community frameworks for interoperability of research data and quality control of EOSC resources.
  3. Establish a mechanism to collect data and investments, policies, digital research outputs, open science skills and infrastructure capacities related to EOSC and link it to the ERA Monitoring Mechanism (in synergy with ERA action 19).

The following objectives should be achieved by 2030:

  • Ensure that Open Science practices and skills are rewarded and taught, becoming the ‘new normal’.
  • Standards, tools and services allow researchers to find, access, reuse and combine results.
  • A federated infrastructure under community governance enabling open sharing of scientific results is deployed and sustained.
  • Europe in the driving seat towards a web of FAIR research data with established links to other data spaces.

For more information:

Explanatory document ERA Policy Agenda Action 1: Enable the open sharing of knowledge and the re-use of research outputs, including through the development of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC)