EOSC-Nordic Policy Workshop: Main takeaways

EOSC-Nordic

EOSC-Nordic Policy Workshop 9.3.2021 gathered together about 140 policymakers and stakeholders from the Baltics and Nordics to discuss common objectives related to Open Science policies and cross-border collaborations. This short report captures the main workshop takeaways that will be used to stimulate further discussions at the Nordic/Baltic level and identify concrete follow-up actions.

The workshop revolved around two main themes: i) cross-border research and service provisioning; ii) skills and training, and incentives related to FAIR practices.

Cross-border research and service provisioning

  • Science does not follow the state borders. Strategic plans must be established with the support of all the different actors involved in cross-border research (i.e., universities, research institutes, funders, researchers) to enable cross-border research.
  • The strategic plans should be supported by appropriate funding models and policies.
  • The key factors to enable effective cross-border collaborations are governance, resource sharing mechanisms, coordination and policy harmonization, and cross-border funding.
  • Service providers are key enablers of cross-border transactions; appropriate mandates, business models, and reimbursement mechanisms need to be set up.
  • Interoperability is also a key issue that needs to be addressed. European policymakers should be working on this together. There is willingness and tools; what lacks is legal and technical interoperability.
  • EOSC could be an enabler for cross-border collaborations.
The Nordic/Baltic status and contribution
  • There is no actual co-operation or joint vision in policymaking between the nations in Baltic/Nordic countries – this is needed to ensure joint cross-border research.
  • There are no specific policies that facilitate cross-border research at the Nordic/Baltic level, and currently, it does not seem to be a priority. Estonia has a policy that mentions the facilitation of cross-border research but only in terms of promoting the national e-infrastructure to international users.
  • On the other side, several types of collaboration models are already in use at the Nordic and Baltic levels. For example, the Nordic e-Infrastructure Collaboration (NeIC) facilitates the development of e-infrastructure solutions in areas of joint Nordic interest. Proven models could be taken as best practices for EOSC.
  • The EOSC-Nordic project will investigate cross-border service provisioning and business models that could fit into EOSC.

Skills and training, and incentives related to FAIR practices

  • Implementation of FAIR is a building block of EOSC. Successful implementation of FAIR requires cultural change, funding, and training.
  • Cultural change is needed towards taking care of research data during the whole data life cycle. Targeted training and support actions need to be organized already at a very early stage of the researcher´s career to reach the goal.
  • Skilled support staff (e.g., data stewards) is needed. Currently, there is an estimated demand for data stewards up to half a million in Europe (one steward for every 20 researchers).
  • Data stewards should work closely with researchers. Collaboration with training and skills transfer at the EU level is needed. Commitments are needed from all the different stakeholders involved, especially from research organizations.
  • Rewarding and recognizing improvements of FAIR practices is needed. The researcher should benefit from investing time and effort in data management and sharing data. Meriting system for sharing data should be developed.
  • To ensure transparency, reproducibility, and reusability of research, we should have policies to make also other research objects (incl. software and methodology) FAIR.
The Nordic/Baltic perspective and contribution
  •  In the Nordic and Baltic countries, policies for (OS) training/training for making data FAIR /policies that involve OS training are available in some countries (e.g., on an institutional level in Denmark and Estonia). There are national-level drafts in Finland and Latvia. In countries where neither policies nor training is available, awareness of the importance is reflected in draft policies, such as in Lithuania. Policies to make other research objects FAIR are lacking.
  • EOSC Nordic contributes to instilling a FAIR culture at the Nordic/Baltic level and supports FAIR assessments on datasets from over 70 repositories on a monthly basis. This effort should turn into a structured and sustained activity after the end of the project.

To view the event program and the panelists, please visit our event page for the Second policy workshop.