GÉANT has played a leading role in the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) for many years, as one of the first to sign the EOSC Declaration in 2017 and having participated – and continue to participate – in various EOSC-related projects under Horizon 2020, such as EOSC Enhance and the forthcoming EOSC Future project. Together with our partners, we have explored critical business models through the Open Clouds for Research Environments (OCRE) project, and in 2018 Chief Communications Officer Cathrin Stöver was appointed as co-Chair of the current EOSC Executive Board.
GÉANT has long recognised the importance of EOSC and Open Science to the NREN community and in July 2020 employed Sarah Jones in the role of EOSC Engagement Manager, where she focuses on representing the GÉANT community in EOSC. Sarah has been a member of the EOSC Executive Board in an independent capacity since 2018 and has also led the FAIR working group. Currently, she is devising a data strategy for the community and has commenced dialogue with European NRENs to engage in Open Science initiatives.
As one of the four founding members of the EOSC Association established in July 2020, it is therefore fair to say a huge amount of effort has been invested by a wide team of GÉANT staff in developing Statutes and Bylaws, developing the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) and setting up for the first Annual General Meeting in December.
It is at December’s AGM that the EOSC Association members will elect its Board of Directors and GÉANT is pleased to announce that it has nominated Sarah to represent the GÉANT community on the EOSC Association’s new Board of Directors.
Andreas Dudler, Chair of the GÉANT Board comments, “With EOSC so important for accelerating research in Europe, I’m delighted that GÉANT and the NREN community can be an integral part of that journey. In Sarah we have a proven expert who can bring experience and continuity, and who will help EOSC to gain momentum and create real value for researchers, and so I’m pleased to state that the GÉANT Association and its Board of Directors fully endorse Sarah’s candidacy.”
Commenting on the nomination, Sarah adds, “Researchers need assistance from people who speak their language and understand the cultural context in which they’re working. I have been involved with EOSC for many years and have served on and chaired several EC Expert Groups and Working Groups. I feel that this experience, together with my personal desire to encourage and support continuity, diversity and inclusivity, will be invaluable in representing the GÉANT community, and I’m extremely happy that GÉANT and its Board support my motivation and have nominated me for this role.”
So why is Cathrin Stöver not standing for the Board or President? Many certainly expected this to be the case given the professionalism, diplomacy and dedication with which she has delivered the co-Chair position and her role as one of the four non-statutory Directors in the EOSC Association.
Cathrin explains, “Co-Chairing the EOSC Board has been a great privilege and allowed me to bring many years’ experience of community building and service delivery to EOSC. Throughout my career I have been involved in starting new activities, supporting new NRENs and RENs around the world, and as these projects become ready to take their next steps, I have passed the reins to the person I felt best placed to take over, so that the project benefits from new insight and experiences – and so that I can check back into my role at GÉANT, supporting the organisation and helping my team to develop. In Sarah, we have found that person, and I welcome you to support her candidacy.”