The Value of the Research Data Alliance to the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC)

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28 March 2019 26432 reads

The Research Data Alliance’s vision is Researchers and innovators openly sharing data across technologies, disciplines, and countries to address the grand challenges of society

The Research Data Alliance’s vision is Researchers and innovators openly sharing data across technologies, disciplines, and countries to address the grand challenges of society

The Research Data Alliance (RDA) is a community-driven organization whose mission is to develop the social and technical data infrastructure needed to drive innovation surrounding data sharing and data interoperability.  Established in 2013, RDA supports more than 11,800 international individual members representing 145 countries, over 60 organisational members from across the globe. This global, dynamic and community-driven initiative has generated over 50 concrete outputs (eight of which are recognized as European ICT technical specifications) with over 140 documented adoption cases (May 2021).
The Research Data Alliance enables data to be shared across barriers through outputs developed by focused Working Groups and Interest Groups, formed of volunteer experts from around the world and drawn from academia, private sector and government. Participation in RDA is open to anyone who agrees to its guiding principles of openness, consensus, inclusivity, harmonisation, with a community driven and non-profit and non-technology lock-in approach.
RDA has a grass-roots, inclusive approach covering all data lifecycle stages, engaging data producers, users and stewards, addressing data exchange, processing, and storage. It has succeeded in creating the neutral social platform where international research data experts meet to exchange views and to agree on topics including social hurdles on data sharing, education and training challenges, data management plans and certification of data repositories, disciplinary and interdisciplinary interoperability, as well as technological aspects

What is the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC)?

The objective of the EOSC is to give the European Union a global lead in research data management and ensure that European scientists reap the full benefits of data-driven science, by offering ‘1.7 million European researchers and 70 million professionals in science and technology a virtual environment with free at the point of use, open and seamless services for storage, management, analysis and re-use of research data, across borders and scientific disciplines’ [2]


Open Science is seen as a crucial component in advancing science and benefiting society [3], and sharing of Research Data is central to these aims.  RDA addresses this need for open and interoperable sharing of research data and builds the social, technical and cross-disciplinary links to enable such sharing on a global scale. Furthermore, the implementation of the EOSC as a “federated model that combines effectiveness and flexibility, primarily through the Research Infrastructures (including eInfrastructures)” [4] will require seamless access to data and integration of services which implies standards.  RDA provides a neutral, global forum to further research innovation, efficiency and reproducibility. It facilitates socio-technical discussion and exchange by identifying best practices and standards for research data, tools and infrastructure.

Currently there are two specific grants that the Research Data Alliance (RDA) is specifically supporting:

RDA4EOSC - RDA supporting the internationalisation and implementation of EOSC

Detailed overview of activities 

Pillar 1: Identify and prepare new scientific and research communities to engage with EOSC

View the assessment report and recommendations at


Pillar 2: Adoption and implementation of technological and/or domain specific research data solutions in EOSC

Pillar 3: Connecting EOSC with international stakeholders via RDA governance

A Commons Compendium

Supporting coordination amongst national, pan-national and domain specific reasearch commons.

View the Commons Compendium at


Pillar 4: Gaining international consensus and input on EOSC

RDA Community Memos

RDA4EOSC Community Memo - Identification and engagement with research communities

RDA4EOSC Community Memo - RDA Communites of Practice

RDA4EOSC Community Memo - UN SDGs and RDA

RDA4EOSC Community Memo - RDA and EOSC Strategies

Pillar 5: Institutional, policy maker and global stakeholder engagement


RDA4EOSC Policy Brief - Supporting the alignment of organisational research data management policies

RDA4EOSC Policy Brief - Organisational approaches to enhancing skills and improving training

RDA4EOSC Policy Brief - Addressing Organisational Interoperability


RDA4EOSC Webinar - Supporting The Alignment Of Organisational Research Data Management Policies - 7th May, 13:00 CEST / 11:00 UTC

RDA4EOSC Webinar - Organisational Approaches To Enhancing Skills And Improving Training - 25th May, 12:00 CEST / 10:00 UTC

RDA4EOSC Webinar - Addressing Organisational Interoperability - 10 June, 13:00 CEST / 11:00 UTC



RDA in the EOSC Future project

The RDA European office - RDA Association AISBL - is focused the following specific areas of support to EOSC:

Widening EOSC Awareness and Engagement in underrepresented communities

Objective: support the creation of readiness and awareness of science and research communities that are not included in ESFRI. Classification of three levels of interaction with EOSC
How / Whom: leveraging on research infrastructure and e-infrastructure experience and best practices matured in WP6, INFRAEOSC-07 projects and beyond

Synchronising EOSC with Global Open Science Initiatives 

Objective: Coordinating international data commons initiatives, identifying technological solutions not currently available and encouraging the creation of new EOSC-focused RDA working groups to develop and drive them. 
How / Whom: 

RDA Open call / Cascading Grant Strategic content definition and coordination

EOSC Future grants platform is already live & RDA Open Calls to support EOSC will open in July. In the meantime we are seeking experts to assist evaluate the very many applications we expect to receive to leverage on the €1 million fund.

The Research Data Alliance contributing to the European Open Science Cloud. The report by RDA Europe 4.0 (March 2020)

The RDA platform is being significantly leveraged in the creation of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). The Report on RDA integration with other European initiatives issued by RDA Europe 4.0 project describes the key finding from a survey conducted amongst 22 current, EOSC-related projects. The report is the work of experts from University of Göttingen (Ugoe), the Royal Irish Academy (Ria), Trust-it Services and The University Of Edinburgh (Uedin), all members of the RDA Europe 4 consortium. Click here to access the full report [13]


[1] RDA Outputs are the technical and social infrastructure solutions developed by RDA Working Groups or Interest Groups that enable data sharing, exchange, and interoperability. 
These Outputs have an important impact in two areas: solving problems, and incorporation and/or adoption in infrastructure environments by individuals, projects and organisations.
RDA Outputs have the following classifications: 1. RDA Recommendations; 2. Supporting Outputs; 3. Other Outputs

[2] Implementation Roadmap for the European Open Science Cloud, SWD (2018) 83, March 2018

[3] Towards a common European data space, SWD(2018) 125, April 2018

[4] SWD(2018) 83.