ALLEA states EOSC needs better legal and technical foundations to go global

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ALLEA states EOSC needs better legal and technical foundations to go global

ALLEA states EOSC needs better legal and technical foundations to go global

01 Apr 2020

ALLEA (All European Academies), the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities, welcomed in a statement the progress of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and highlighted its great potential to accelerate the transition towards open science. The document presents a set of legal instruments and technical considerations which aim to reinforce the sustainability of EOSC.

Data are crucial resources for research and technological development. The upcoming implementation of EOSC can significantly foster knowledge exchange for data and research sharing across borders and scientific disciplines, facilitating the uptake of science-based and data-driven policies to tackle global challenges like climate change, or health threats such as COVID-19

Of course, this ambitious and wide-ranging vision can only succeed if the appropriate legal and technical instruments are in place, ensuring a positive environment for research.

Alain Strowel, Chair of the Permanent Working Group Intellectual Property Rights, stated that the deployment of EOSC is clearly needed for accelerating the sharing of data and research results within the scientific community in Europe and beyond. "Together with other measures favouring open science," he added, "this will help to find fact-based responses to major societal challenges such as fighting the spread of coronavirus."

Please find the original article on the Allea website:

IPR and strategic considerations

ALLEA was among the first endorsers of the EOSC declaration by the EC in 2017, and it has closely been monitoring its development. This statement points to key questions to be addressed, especially regarding Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs).

It also advocates that the Rules of Participation (RoP) should further define access conditions, in line with the EOSC principle of making the Cloud “as open as possible and as closed as necessary”.  

Those regulations should set proportionate limitations in “duly justified cases” of IPR concerns, national security, and alike. In particular, the statement notes that the current RoP only consider ‘copyright’ as a category of IPRs and disregards patents, the most important tool for protecting research inventions, and for incentivising and securing high-risk investments in research and development, both in the public and private sectors. 

ALLEA’s statement presents several necessary considerations to establish a solid legal and technical framework for an effective and sustainable EOSC, such as the following:

  • An overall legal design that ensures reciprocity of access for participating researchers submitting data according to the EOSC Rules of Participation and to EOSC-compliant users of data stored elsewhere. 
  • Interoperability with other regional data clouds which also promote interoperability and development of common global standards enabling scholarship and science to be shared as public goods for the benefit of all. 
  • Staggered security regulations as regards data and processes, with due consideration of all relevant aspects (i.e. machines, tools, people), while different requirements, depending on the security level, must also be foreseen. 
  • Open source should be promoted as a standard to ensure security.  
  • Licensing models should be harmonised so that detrimental effects of different types of open source licences are mitigated.  
  • Data should be stored, unless it is proven impossible, on servers and equipment operated in Europe and subject to EU rules. 

Download ALLEA official statement