Dutch Life Sciences support the Open Science Cloud

30 juni 2016

On the 28th of June several leading organisations in the Dutch life sciences field presented Mr. Paul Timmers, Director Digital Society, Trust and Security of DG CONNECT of the European Commission, with a statement on the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) expressing their strong support to the further development of the EOSC. Mr. Timmers received the statement during the event ‘Get Ready for Big Data in the Cloud’ organised by Neth-ER and EDISON.

On April the 19th 2016, the European Commission launched the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) initiative to improve Europe’s position in the data-driven economy. The aims of the event ‘Get Ready for Big Data in the Cloud’ were to demonstrate the initiatives that already are being developed in the Dutch life sciences and data science sectors, and discuss the steps that are still needed to fully exploit the potential of the EOSC.

Key note speech & Statement

In his key note address, Mr. Timmers stated that the European Commission is eager to learn from the research field how it sees research progress by making use of the Cloud, and what the required conditions are to go forward. He explained that the EU is leader in Open Science, but not in the data-driven economy. He stressed that Europe should be in the lead in the global digital economy. The Digital Single Market Strategy, to which the EOSC belongs, is the approach in which the Commission hopes to achieve this.

In order to demonstrate their support for the EOSC, the leading large-scale research infrastructures in the Dutch life sciences field (BBMRI-NL, ELIXIR-NL and EATRIS-NL), DutchTechcentre for Life Sciences (DTL), the Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centres (NFU), SURF, Lygature, Netherlands eScience Center (NLeSC), ZonMw and Topsector Life Sciences and Health (Health~Holland) endorsed a statement supporting the European initiative to develop an Open Science Cloud. In the statement the organisations declared that they “recognize the importance of open science and already demonstrated our [their] own commitment to responsible data sharing within national infrastructures, and embedded in European infrastructures.” Ruben Kok, director of the Dutch Techcentre for Life Sciences (DTL), added that the Health-RI (Health Research Infrastructures) initiative is aiming to be framework for 'FAIR Open Implementation Labs' on Personalized Medicine & Health research in the Netherlands.

Professor Frank Miedema, Dean  and Vice-President of the University Medical Centre of Utrecht  as  well as responsible for large-scale infrastructures within the Netherlands Federation of the University Medical Centres, presented the statement to Mr. Timmers on behalf of the Health-RI consortium. Upon accepting the statement, Mr. Timmers stressed the importance of the progressive Dutch initiatives in responsible sharing of health data.

Health research & Data science

The event on the 28th had a twofold approach. On the one hand, the Dutch initiatives for personalised medicine and health research were discussed, where Professor Frank Miedema gave a presentation on the development of data sharing in the Dutch life sciences field. In addition, Gerrit Meijer, head of pathology of the Netherlands Cancer Institute, presented the Health-RI initiative. Lastly, Dr. Axel Berg of SURFsara held a presentation on big data research services in the Cloud for smart health.

On the other hand, the seminar focussed on the EDISON project. Here the growing gap between the demand for data scientists and the low numbers of graduated data scientists from universities in Europe was addressed. The EDISON project is catalysing developments to close this gap. Interestingly Jet Bussemaker, Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science released a letter on the same day to the Parliament about Big Data in which was referred to the supporting role of the EDISON project. During the EDISON session the Dutch National Action Plan was presented which served as the start in encouraging other members states to draw up similar national action plans.

Meer informatie

Artikel Neth-ER: Raadsconclusies over Open Science, KP7 en innovatieprincipe
Persbericht Europese Commissie: European Cloud Initiative to give Europe a global lead in the data-driven economy
Website European Commission: European Open Science Cloud
Publication Ministry of ScienceKamerbrief over Big Data in Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap

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