During the first NI4OS-Europe review meeting with the European Commission and the reviewers, on June 10th 2021, project partners presented the progress and achievements during the initial 18 months of the project (01/09/2019 to 28/02/2021).
The main conclusion of the review is that the “NI4OS-Europe project has fully achieved its objectives and milestones for this specific period. Moreover, the project has delivered exceptional results with significant immediate or potential impact”. As highlighted in the review report:
- The project has achieved substantial progress in accordance with the work plan.
- The results of the project are tangible and include policy recommendations and blueprints, middleware for services and repositories integration, on-boarding guidelines, tools that support service providers and data owners/publishers and more.
- The project has already produced results with significant potential impact on the EOSC community at large and on stakeholders of the region that is addressed by NI4OS-Europe. These results include both policy related results and related technical results.
Specifically, as stated in the review report, the project results with immediate impact include the following:
- A thorough analysis of the Open Science landscape within South-East Europe.
- A blueprint guiding the establishment of National Open Science Cloud Initiatives (NOSCI).
- Effective lines of cooperation with other key stakeholders within the EOSC landscape.
- A clear framework for resource onboarding into the EOSC catalogue.
- Several providers have been onboarded.
- Numerous events and training to stimulate greater regional engagement with the EOSC and raise awareness about Open Science.
- Appointment of EOSC promoters at a regional level.
- The development and release of three data management tools (Licensing Clearance Tool, Legal & Ethics Compliance tool, Report Policy Generator).
The effective management of the project, as well as its dissemination and communication activities, were also praised by the reviewers.
From the technical developments, the pre-production environment and the training catalogue were identified as two key developments.
Next steps and wider engagement
As noted in the review report, NI4OS-Europe developments have a major significance beyond the region and in the widest EOSC context. The EC and reviewers suggested that outcomes should be integrated in the EOSC ecosystem at EU level and that project’s EOSC-level tools and services need to be taken forward under the stewardship of EOSC Association and future partnership projects with the EC, thus ensuring the continuation of the endeavor. Thus, achieving stakeholders’ engagement around the project’s technical & policy outcomes within the broader EOSC ecosystem will be one of the main challenges ahead.