Connecting ESFRI infrastructures through Cluster projects

Specific Challenge

Research Infrastructures such as the ones on the ESFRI roadmap and others, are characterised by the very significant data volumes they generate and handle. These data are of interest to thousands of researchers across scientific disciplines and to other potential users via Open Access policies. Effective data preservation and open access for immediate and future sharing and re-use are a fundamental component of today’s research infrastructures and Horizon 2020 actions but researchers are still confronted with a fragmented research data landscape. The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) will help addressing the current situation. Major stakeholders, such as the pan-European research infrastructures, must actively contribute to the setting up of its services.


This topic will ensure the connection of the research infrastructures identified in the ESFRI Roadmap to the EOSC. Support to this activity will be provided through cluster projects gathering ESFRI projects and landmarks in each of the following large thematic domains: Biomedical Science, Environment and Earth Sciences, Physics and Analytical Facilities, Social Science and Humanities, Astronomy, Energy. While the ESFRI infrastructures represent the core component of any cluster, other relevant world class research infrastructures with a European dimension, established as ERICs or International Organisations, can also be involved in a cluster. Each infrastructure should participate to only one cluster.

Proposals will address the stewardship of data handled by the involved research infrastructures according to the FAIR[1] principles and in line with the objectives of Open Science. This will include the definition of domain specific data policies (e.g. acquisition, deposit, curation, preservation, access, sharing and re-use), addressing any legislative or interoperability issues which affect data handling across geographical and discipline borders, as well as the development of appropriate tools for depositing, curating and analysing data. Research infrastructures will have to expose their data and tools under the EOSC catalogue of services and take all the necessary steps to ensure that the used repositories are compliant with the FAIR principles. In doing so proposals should develop synergies and complementarity in data handling between research infrastructures, optimise technological implementation, and ensure integration and interoperability of data and tools within the EOSC.

Proposals may address the development of domain specific skills for data stewardships and the specific training of research infrastructure staff. Activities should contribute to a faster adoption of best practices and foster the use of open standards and interoperability in data and computing services. The detailed list of activities that can be supported under this topic is given in part C of the section “Specific features for Research Infrastructures”.

Consortia should include key participants of the involved infrastructures and/or the infrastructure legal entities as well as other partners needed to address the challenges or develop the required solutions. Proposals should build upon the state of the art in ICT and e-infrastructures for data, computing and networking and work in cooperation with e-infrastructure service providers.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 6 and 24 million would allow this challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. The requested contribution should however be in line with the number of pan-European research infrastructures[2] the cluster aims to connect to the EOSC.

Expected Impact

  • In line with the objectives of Open Science, improve access to data and tools enabling new and interdisciplinary research leading to new insights and innovation for the society at large
  • Facilitate access of researchers across all scientific disciplines to the broadest possible set of data and to other resources needed for data driven science to flourish.
  • Contribute to the creation of a cross-border and multi-disciplinary open innovation environment for research data, knowledge and services with engaged stakeholders and organisations.
  • Rise the efficiency and productivity of researchers thanks to an easier and seamless access to reliable and open data services and infrastructures for discovering, accessing, and reusing data;
  • Foster the establishment of global standards, ontologies and interoperability for scientific data.
  • Develop synergies and complementarity between involved research infrastructures, thus contributing to the development of a consistent European research infrastructures ecosystem.
  • Research communities adopt common approaches to the data management lifecycle (data and metadata curation), which leads to economies of scale.

Cross-cutting Priorities

Socio-economic science and humanities
Open Science
International cooperation

[1] Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable

[2]A fair indication would be that the requested contribution does not exceed EUR 1.5 million for each ESFRI project and EUR 2 million for each ESFRI landmark or other established pan-European research infrastructure involved in the cluster.

Application date
Social sciences