EOSC Featured Open Science

EOSC Association elects its first President and Board of Directors: Sarah Jones to represent GÉANT Community

EOSC Association, advancing open science in Europe

The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) has taken a step closer to becoming a reality with the inauguration of the EOSC Association, a new legal entity and international not-for-profit association that will represent European stakeholders and organisations in developing the EOSC.

The EOSC Association held its first official General Assembly since becoming a legal entity under Belgian law following a royal decree and will represent European stakeholders and organisations in developing EOSC over the next few years.

The online event saw Karel Luyben from CESAER elected as the first president of the EOSC Association. A board of eight directors were elected, including Marialuisa Lavitrano (UNIMIB), Suzanne Dumouchel (CNRS), Klaus Tochtermann (ZBW) for a three-year mandate; Sarah Jones (GÉANT) and Ignacio Blanquer (UPV) for a two-year mandate; and Wilhelm Widmark (SU), Bob Jones (CERN) and Ronan Byrne (HEAnet) for a one-year mandate.

Set to become the entity that can enter into contractual agreements with the European Commission, the new EOSC Association, along with the Partnership Board and Steering Board, will work to develop the EOSC from January 2021 onwards.

With the ability to admit new members and charge membership fees, the establishment of the Association is a decisive move towards setting up the EOSC as a self-sustaining membership organisation away from public funding.

The online event saw the four organisations – CESAERCSICGARR and GÉANT, the EOSC Association’s founding members that are tasked with initiating the admission of new members – welcome and admit 142 new members, with status divided into mandated members and observers. These members and observers are made up of research funding organisations, research performing organisations, service providing organisations and other organisations.

EOSC Association President Karel Luyben, who starts his 2-year term from today, 18th December 2020, said in a statement: “It is truly an honour to be elected the first President of the EOSC Association. In my role as Chair of the EOSC Executive Board, I have had the great pleasure to work with a community that is as vibrant as it is diverse. Looking back on what we have achieved in Europe by working together – with the EOSC Declaration as an important milestone in 2017 – makes me proud to be part of this EOSC community. While recognising how far we have come, it is also clear that grand opportunities lie ahead.”

GÉANT in the EOSC Association

The GÉANT community welcomes the election in the EOSC Board of Directors of GÉANT’s EOSC Engagement Manager Sarah Jones. Sarah, whose nomination was announced in early December 2020, has long been involved in open science initiatives and had occupied the roles of EOSC Executive Board member and chair of the EOSC FAIR Working Group.

Commenting on her election, Sarah said: “I am delighted to be elected to the Board and am very grateful to the GÉANT community for the nomination and warm, supportive welcome I have received from the NRENs since joining in Summer. I look forward to representing the NREN community on the Board and supporting their EOSC initiatives.

Having worked with Karel on the Executive Board for the past 2 years, I am pleased to see him elected as President and look forward to continuing our collaboration to build the community and guide the implementation of EOSC. I am also personally excited to provide continuity on implementing the strong recommendations which emerged from the FAIR Working Group I chaired.”

With the institution of the new Board, GÉANT’s Cathrin Stöver steps down from her roles as one of the four non-statutory Directors in the EOSC Association and EOSC Executive Board Co-chair. Cathrin had supported Sarah’s candidacy and indicated her as the person best placed to take over.

Towards EOSC

In a bid to become the open and trusted environment for accessing and managing research data and related services, the EOSC will transform how researchers access and share data and give Europe a global lead in research data management.

The EOSC will federate existing scientific data infrastructures, currently dispersed across disciplines and the EU Member States.

Supporting the EU’s Open Science policy and European Data Strategy, EOSC intends to help European scientists reap the full benefits of data-driven science and give Europe a global lead in research data management.

Key features of EOSC will be its smooth access to data and interoperable services and its trusted digital platform that addresses the whole research data cycle, from discovery, mining, storage, management, analysis and re-use.

With open and seamless services for storage, management, analysis and re-use of research data across borders and scientific disciplines, EOSC aims to create a virtual environment for 1.7 million European researchers and 70 million professionals in science, technology, the humanities and social sciences.

Seeking to make digital assets findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR), EOSC will tackle societal challenges like early diagnosis of major diseases and climate change.

For more information about EOSC visit: https://www.eosc.eu/

Read more about Sarah’s nomination: https://connect.geant.org/2020/12/08/geants-sarah-jones-nominated-for-eosc-association-board-of-directors

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