What did France learn specifically from EOSC-Pillar activities and what are the opportunities for French researchers through this project? These were the key questions at the half-day virtual event on 22 March, where about 100 participants from the French research community discussed the outcomes and perspectives of EOSC-Pillar.
The results from the landscape survey, presented by Geneviève Romier (CC-IN2P3/CNRS), showcased some of the French particularities. For example, that France has a very strong culture of offering training for personnel at e-infrastructures and make them more adjusted to local needs by organising them in French, and that a high percentage (in comparison to the other EOSC-Pillar countries) offers services across a wide range of scientific domains.
A look at EOSC-Pillar use cases under French lead showed how the project accelerates the development of EOSC type services, for example in environmental sciences, also by using services like iRODS or Galaxy provided through EOSC-Pillar’s infrastructure layer. FAIRisation of data and opening research data services to a larger range of communities are certainly key topics for the French EOSC community. As Frédéric Huynh of Data Terra put it: “One has to strongly link the many existing research data infrastructures to EOSC-Pillar and its services.”
A substantial part of the workshop was dedicated to the upcoming Horizon Europe opportunities in the EOSC context, and specifically to how EOSC-Pillar can help building strong consortia to prepare proposals. Here Fulvio Galeazzi, joining the meeting as EOSC-Pillar project manager, pointed out that “some level of coordination at the national level is fundamental, then of course this can go further, and EOSC-Pillar can also have a role here and it will be important to coordinate with others in the region” and beyond.
The French ministry, represented by Volker Beckmann, pointed out that the calls in the first 2 years of Horizon Europe clearly answer to the specific needs of EOSC, but cannot and shouldn’t cover the whole range of activities necessary, and that a continued discussion among stakeholders is necessary to achieve long-term sustainability of the relevant EOSC services.
The workshop ended with a short, not necessarily representative, roll-call among the participants, asking who was already involved in preparing a consortium and/or proposal for the first wave of Horizon Europe EOSC calls — and showing that so far apparently no one has started yet. Time to get the discussion and networking going!
As a take away message we might conclude: the French community is heavily involved in EOSC-Pillar and in constructing the web of FAIR research data in France, but lots of work still lies ahead to fully implement the EOSC vision.
The video recordings and PDFs of the presentations can be found in the program of the workshop under https://eoscpillar.sciencesconf.org/program