Funding of EOSC<p>The implementation plan and roadmap for the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) are in preparation.</p><p>The European Commission (EC) is currently working on an implementation plan and a roadmap for EOSC, which should then be adopted on 28 May during the Competitiveness Council. EOSC should become a pan-European federation of data infrastructures built around a federating core to provide access to a wide range of publicly-funded services supplied at national, regional and institutional levels. The objective of EOSC is to offer 1.7 million European researchers and 70 million professionals in science and technology a virtual environment with open seamless services for storage, management, analysis and re-use of research data, across borders and scientific disciplines.</p> <p> </p> <p>An open question is the funding of EOSC. Therefore, Science|Business has published a new report on the funding of EOSC. Despite the scale and implications of the programme, Science|Business points out that no comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of the EOSC exists at this stage. Following a meeting of its Cloud Consultation Group, which includes experts from ETH-Zurich, CERN, Microsoft, Amazon, the European Space Agency and others, Science|Business published its own <a title="Link to download the Science|Business report" href="https://sciencebusiness.net/report/european-open-science-cloud-who-pays-what" target="_blank">report</a> in February 2018. This report attempts to weigh the costs of building the EOSC against its potential economic benefits, as well as to identify possible funding channels.</p> <p> </p> <p>The report identifies seven categories of costs associated with the EOSC. To sum up, these costs are associated with the usage of the cloud-computing services, the opening up of the data according to FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable and re-usable) principles, the federation of new and existing infrastructures, the development of specifications for data sharing, the creation of new tools, as well as costs related to security and governance. Overall, authors consider that these costs are “significant”.</p> <p> </p> <p>However, many economic benefits are also underscored. The most important one would be an increase in productivity. Indeed, researchers are currently making limited use of cloud technologies in comparison to the private sector. Furthermore, the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in Europe is extremely fragmented. The introduction of the EOSC could be the needed catalyst for widespread adoption of hyper-scale cloud computing by European scientists. The flexibility and openness of such services would allow for important efficiency gains and more economic returns for research.</p> <p> </p> <p>The budget for the EOSC project so far is of €260 million, allocated for the federation of existing scientific data infrastructures. The EC has promised that the EOSC will be self-sustaining after 2020 and no additional funds will be requested from Member States. With regard to funding, the report also points out the possible commercial uses of the EOSC, which would allow it to produce its own income stream. The EOSC will be free for researchers at the point of use, but commercial users could be required to pay once their usage rises beyond a certain threshold. The EOSC could provide an ecosystem of commercial services, which would be of high value to private research and product development.</p> <p> </p> <p>Overall, the report depicts a favourable balance between costs and benefits. The main open question relates to the reallocation of existing budgets to cover the costs of running the EOSC to its full potential. Science|Business recommends that the EOSC be demand-driven and competitive (with regard to other available cloud services), and suggests opening it up to commercial uses, if necessary.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p>funding, eosc, European Open Science Cloudhttps://www.swisscore.org/Lists/Public/Article/DispForm.aspx?ID=9542018-02-19T23:00:00ZscArticle{D18FA39E-2216-E811-80CA-005056B7191C}https://www.swisscore.org/Lists/Public/ArticleImages/cloud_computing1.jpg, https://www.swisscore.org/Lists/Public/ArticleImages/cloud_computing1.jpg