01 February 2021

Some 700 visitors from 45 countries flocked to Realising the European Open Science Cloud, the virtual conference organised as a collaboration between SSHOC, EOSC-hub and FREYA during November 2020. 

Towards a FAIR Research Data Landscape

The conference was subtitled “Towards a FAIR research data landscape for the social sciences, humanities and beyond” and invited participants to join forces and connect with E-infrastructures, discover new tools and techniques and aggregate services to the EOSC Portal. 

The organisers made every effort to create an original and engaging experience for conference attendees. Aside from more than 30 plenary and small group breakout sessions over the four days, the conference offered virtual exhibition booths and a networking area, project chat rooms, a scavenger hunt with clues, and contests with prizes for booth holders and participants alike.


This report presents an overview of the event with links to supporting information about each session and the associated video recording.

Day One: “Policy and Governance”

The conference was officially opened by the three project coordinators, Tiziana Ferrari (EGI/EOSC-hub), Simon Lambert (STFC/FREYA), and Ron Dekker (CESSDA/SSHOC). Keynote speakers  Liina Munari (European Commission, DG CONNECT) and Ingrid Dillo (DANS) followed.

The first parallel session showcased the ecosystem of EOSC thematic marketplaces offered to users by the five EOSC "cluster projects".

These projects are at the heart of EOSC and include SSHOC, representing the social sciences and humanities research communities, PaNOSC, representing some 15 photon and neutron research infrastructures (RIs) and physics institutes across Europe, ESCAPE, which brings astronomy, astroparticle & particle physics  facilities into a single collaborative unit, EOSC-Life, bringing together biological and medical RIs to create an open collaborative space for digital biology, and ENVRI-FAIR, which provides access to envronmental data and services.


Breakout Sessions 

Participants were able to choose between three breakout sessions: 


Research tools

The last session of each day was dedicated to the presentation of research tools developed within the cluster projects for SSH researchers. 

Monday’s list comprised  PID Graph services developed by FREYA, alongside four SSHOC tools, presented respectively by Diana Zavala-Rojas (UPF), Roxane Roussel, Isabelle Cao and Livio de Luca ( CNRS), Yury Pettinicchi (MPG), and Laura Morales and Ami Saji (Science Po): 


Day Two: “Technology and infrastructure” 

Onboarding services to the EOSC portal was the first topic of the day’s parallel session and offered presentations on the current status from EGI, Cyfronet and the University of Athens on behalf of EOSC-hub and EOSC Enhance.

On a practical note, speaker Carsten Thiel from CESSDA/SSHOC described the process of moving from a project to a set of sustainable services ready for onboarding to EOSC.


The second topic, EOSC Interoperability. Architecture and FAIR Data Aspects, was subdivided into three mini sessions presented by Giacinto Donvito (INFN), Hervé l'Hours (ESSEX), and Mari Kleemola (TUNI).


Breakout Sessions

A total of six technology-focused sessions were offered in two back-to back breakouts:

Breakout 1

Breakout 2


Research Tools

The second day of the conference introduced the PID Forum and the SSHOC Dataverse adaptation (presented by Marion Wittenberg and Laura Hius in ‘t Veld of DANS).


Day Three: “Training and Community Building

The parallel session entitled Community Building Examples Across EOSC-hub, FREYA, & SSHOC opening session was chaired by Timea Biro (DRI/RDA Europe) and addressed the need for more coordination between the various communities addressed served by the three projects to ensure collaboration and integration of approaches. 


Breakout Sessions 

A total of five sessions were offered in two back-to back breakouts:

Breakout 1

Breakout 2

Two separate breakout sessions explored the EOSC Early Adopter Programme, and the Thematic Services of EOSC-Hub Competence Centre.


Research Tools

The three tools introduced on Day Three were:


Day Four: “Sustainability and the Future”

Challenges in Sustainability of FAIR Research Data and Services for SSH and Beyond was the first of two general sessions on Day Four and highlighted the need for continued funding and community support and as well as the importance of focusing on the researchers’ needs. 

The final session EOSC in practice: A Research Community Perspective, chaired by Marieke Willems of Trust-IT, underlined the power of communities and the importance of the data collection step in creating the FAIR data ecosystem.



Realising the European Open Science Cloud demonstrated exemplary cooperation between the three organising projects. As a virtual conference with a difference it also helped establish a valuable sense of community, one to be reflected in the future of EOSC. 

Thank you to all the organisers, chairs, speakers, exhibitors and participants for an enormous effort!








Missed the event?

Find the session recordings on our Realising the European Open Science Cloud play list.  

For easy access to presentation slides, browse the event agenda on the EOSC-hub website and select a session or download the material directly from Zenodo.


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