Research Funding Bodies are the catalysts of the EOSC
Research Funders are stakeholders which can support cultural change through institutional policies and mandates. Research Funders are thus one of the most important actors to influence and support the EOSC. As such, they were involved in discussions with the European Commission’s High-Level Expert Group in 2016 with a view to contribute to the initial recommendations on the realisation of the EOSC.
Several bodies at the European level make research grants available to researchers regardless of their nationality or field of research. Many of these funders are part of EU institutions and programmes – including for example Joint Research Centres, or the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. Other European funding programmes are managed by the European Research Council, the European Science Foundation, the European University Institute, the European Association of National Metrology Institutes (EURAMET), etc.
Many European countries have one or more national agencies responsible for research, science and/or technology development. The policies and mandates of these agencies inevitably vary from country to country, but they are essential drivers of Open Science through their policies, grants, calls for proposals and activities, and it is vital for the EOSC to engage with them.
What has EOSCpilot delivered to this stakeholder group?
Existing connections were leveraged in order to unite Research Funders with other intermediaries and stakeholder groups. This happened in many ways, including via workshops, conferences and the drafting of policy recommendations targeting Research Funders.
By engaging with EOSCpilot project activities, Research Funding Bodies could:
- Gain awareness of the emerging EOSC policy framework and provide input on its development.
- Influence and be part of the governance of the future EOSC.
- Support sustainability of the EOSC, oversee its service provisioning and relevant business models.
Through the EOSCpilot project, Research Funding Bodies had a chance to align their policies to increase the excellence and impact of funded research. By engaging closely in project activities, Funders and Intermediaries also benefited from a unified vision for open research data and services and contributed actively to shaping the EOSC development.
How did this stakeholder group contribute to the EOSCpilot project?
The project targeted Research Funding Bodies as intermediaries because they play an important role in enabling Open Science through their mandates and institutional policies, as well as rules, regulations and practices in their calls for funding. Research funders can also act as multipliers. For this reason, engaging Research Funders in the discussion, and raising awareness for the EOSC and Open Science in general was very important for the project.
How will this stakeholder group benefit from EOSC
Research Funding Bodies can benefit from EOSC in the following ways:
- The EOSC governance framework and EOSC policies support Funders in their strategic direction and in targeting funding action to appropriate allocation of resources.
- The EOSC long-term sustainability plan will contribute to better visibility and management of future funding.
- The federation and re-use of data generated by publicly funded research in an open innovation environment will increase the impact of funding instruments and policies, both through the wider access and use of research and data funded nationally, and through wider access by researchers in each country to resources funded and generated by other countries.
- The EOSC will provide practical insight to the application of research funding policy objectives.
How can this stakeholder group engage with EOSC in the future?
Research Funders can affect change using their institutional policies and mandates. Being in line, engaging in dialogue and building an alliance with funders, supports the vision of EOSC, providing a framework that maximizes the value and impact of research outputs and raises awareness at the same time. They can support policy cultural change, while funding both infrastructures and individual researchers.