In order to take a step closer towards the realisation of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), Germany and the Netherlands are setting up the International Support and Coordination Office (ISCO) to support the GO FAIR Initiative. France will also contribute to the office.
GO FAIR aims to gradually open up existing research data at scientific and academic institutions in all research fields and across national borders. It thus is a stepping stone towards the realisation of the European Open Science Cloud. The EOSC is a project to provide an open platform for the exchange of research data and will link researchers across Europe. Research data will no longer be confined to hard-drives and USB sticks. The EOSC will enable the shared use and re-use of research findings and data, which will not only benefit science but also industry and society.
A joint position paper was presented by State Secretaries Georg Schütte (Germany) and Sander Dekker (the Netherlands) in May 2017, confirming their intention to move ahead with the development of the EOSC and proposing to support GO FAIR. On the occasion of the 1 December meeting of the Competitive Council, the Netherlands, Germany and France underlined their commitment to this aim.
“The EOSC is an important building block for the future of the European science system in the digital age. The exchange of research data will create added value for science and innovation across Europe. We must act now in order for the EOSC to be a success. This is why we are supporting the GO FAIR Initiative”, said State Secretary Schütte from Germany. Minister Van Engelshoven from the Netherlands emphasised: “We jointly added an important element to the GO FAIR initiative by establishing the ISCO that will officially start its work as of today.” Minister Vidal added: “Our joint support for the GO FAIR Initiative underlines the will of our three countries to seize the digital opportunities and improve scientific exchange and progress across Europe.”
The ISCO will assist implementation networks and support research and e-infrastructure communities in their endeavours to provide FAIR data and services. In order to drive the process forward, the German, Dutch, and French research ministries are each contributing financially to the International Support and Coordination Office.
The GO FAIR Initiative takes an open and cooperative approach. This means that all Member States and research institutions, e-infrastructure communities and possibly industry can provide their support or contributions. The GO FAIR Initiative is designed to ensure that shared digital research data and jointly used digital services meet the four FAIR principles of making data Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable. FAIR data and services will enable research data to be re-used in different disciplines and in different countries, thus helping to generate new knowledge.