The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) is an environment for hosting and processing research data to support EU science.

The ambition of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) is to provide European researchers, innovators, companies and citizens with a federated and open multi-disciplinary environment where they can publish, find and re-use data, tools and services for research, innovation and educational purposes.

This environment will operate under well-defined conditions to ensure trust and safeguard the public interest.

The EOSC enables a step change across scientific communities and research infrastructures towards

  • seamless access
  • FAIR (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability and Reusability) management
  • reliable reuse of research data and all other digital objects produced along the research life cycle (e.g. methods, software and publications)

EOSC ultimately aims to develop a Web of FAIR Data and services for science in Europe upon which a wide range of value-added services can be built. These range from visualisation and analytics to long-term information preservation or the monitoring of the uptake of open science practices.

The EOSC is recognised by the Council of the European Union as the pilot action to deepen the new European Research Area (ERA). It is also recognised as the science, research and innovation data space which will be fully articulated with the other sectoral data spaces defined in the European strategy for data.

Full deployment of the EOSC will lead to higher research productivity, new insights and innovations, as well as improved reproducibility and trust in science.

The EOSC under Horizon Europe 2021-2027

EU countries and countries associated with Horizon 2020, represented in the EOSC Governance Board, agreed unanimously to run the EOSC as a co-programmed European Partnership under Horizon Europe from 2021.

Horizon Europe is the Commission's research and innovation funding programme, succeeding Horizon 2020 from 2021.

This is the best instrument to provide a framework for collaboration and the pooling of resources at European, national, regional and institutional levels.

The proposal for a candidate EOSC partnership was published in June following a process of co-creating its vision including strategic and operational objectives to be achieved by 2027.

In July 2020, an EOSC Association was set up to provide a single voice for advocacy and represent the broader EOSC stakeholder community. This association became operational in 2021 and is rapidly expand its membership.

The new governance model agreed with EU countries for the next EOSC implementation phase after 2020 is tripartite including:

  • The EU represented by the Commission
  • The European research community represented by the EOSC Association
  • EU countries and countries associated with Horizon Europe represented through a Steering Board set up in 2021 outside of the EOSC Association

Official information taken from the European Commission website

Development of EOSC until 2020

In May 2015, the European Commission proposed creating a European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) to the Competitiveness Council.

The aim was to federate existing research data infrastructures in Europe and realise a web of FAIR data and related services for science, making research data interoperable and machine actionable following the FAIR guiding principles.

In the initial phase of development until 2020, the Commission invested around €320 million to start prototyping the EOSC through project calls in Horizon 2020 - the Commission's research and innovation funding programme.

In March 2018, the European Commission published the EOSC Implementation Roadmap detailing the main action lines of the first EOSC implementation phase until 2020.

A multi-layered, interim governance structure was established from November 2018 to steer and oversee the implementation of the EOSC from 2019-2020, .

This interim governance was composed of

  • EOSC Governance Board: representatives from EU countries, countries associated with Horizon 2020 and the Commission to ensure effective supervision of the EOSC implementation.
  • EOSC Executive Board: representatives from the research and e-infrastructures communities.
  • EOSC Stakeholders: a wider range of actors, consulted through a series of stakeholder events and online consultations to collect input and recommendations.

Please find the final EOSC Executive Board Outputs.

The European Commission is providing financial support to implement the EOSC by means of projects under the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation (Horizon 2020). Seen below are the various calls for projects that have contributed, are contributing, or will contribute to the development of the European Open Science Cloud.

EOSC Timeline

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
OpenAIRE Advance            
Commercial Services Access            
Connecting ESFRI Infrasttructures            
Support to the EOSC Governance CSA            
Prototyping new innovative services            
Support to the EOSC Governance RIA            
Enhancing the EOSC portal            
EOSC Future            
Increasing the service offer of the EOSC Portal