Last month, Belnet was appointed as the mandated organisation of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) Association for Belgium. The aim of EOSC is to create a new European web of data as a means of stimulating interdisciplinary research and thereby boosting science and the economy. Belnet's role within this ambitious project will be a coordinating and operational one.
Scientists increasingly need reliable digital data to conduct further research. At the request of the international research community, the European Commission and the Member States of the EU have developed a framework to facilitate the shift towards open science. The aim of that framework is to set up a federation of e-infrastructures and associated services that will help researchers link their research data together to form a web of 'FAIR' data (findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable data).
To achieve that objective, the Commission set up the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) Association, which will play a part in policy-making in the area of research e-infrastructures and budget management.
In each Member State or associated country, a single organisation will then be appointed and authorised to represent the interests of that country. Last month, Belnet was selected by the Interministerial Conference for Science Policy as the mandated organisation for Belgium.
As a National Education and Research Network (NREN), Belnet is one of the few research-oriented infrastructures in Belgium that is national in scope. Not only does Belnet possess all of the qualities that are necessary to further consolidate its role as a service provider in the area of Open Science on a national and international level, but it also has the ambition to achieve this.
Having obtained its mandate, Belnet will directly influence the strategic direction of the EOSC Association and will represent the interests of all players that form part of the Belgian research landscape. In order to achieve this, Belnet will develop a close working relationship with a number of parties, including the various authorities that hold powers in the scientific domain.
In addition to its international and strategic role, Belnet also has an important role to play as a Service Provider. As Chris De Loof, Special Adviser EOSC at Belnet explained: "At every stage of his/her data life cycle, a researcher needs technical tools that will play a supporting role. Initially, we will offer research institutions our basic service, such as connectivity and security. What is more, we will take care to provide a variety of value-added services that EOSC can make use of. We will therefore work with EOSC to identify solutions in areas such as information security, secure data storage, authentication solutions and so on.”
Want to know more?
Further information about EOSC can be found on the websites below. Of course, we will keep you updated about developments within Belnet that relate to EOSC.
- https://www.eosc-portal.eu – the portal containing information about services, data, etc.
- https://www.eoscsecretariat.eu – news and events relating to EOSC
- https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/european-open-science-cloud – the EC DG CONNECT website (policy on European e-Infrastructures for Research)