European Commission launches pilot to open up publicly funded research data
Valuable information produced by researchers in many EU-funded projects will be shared freely as a result of a Pilot on Open Research Data in Horizon 2020.
Researchers in projects participating in the pilot are asked to make the underlying data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications and other scientific information available for use by other researchers, innovative industries and citizens. This will lead to better and more efficient science and improved transparency for citizens and society. It will also contribute to economic growth through open innovation. For 2014-2015, topic areas participating in the Open Research Data Pilot will receive funding of around €3 billion.
The Commission recognises that research data is as important as publications. It therefore announced in 2012 that it would experiment with open access to research data (see IP/12/790). The Pilot on Open Research Data in Horizon 2020 does for scientific information what the Open Data Strategy1 does for public sector information: it aims to improve and maximise access to and re-use of research data generated by projects for the benefit of society and the economy.
The Pilot involves key areas of Horizon 2020:
- Future and Emerging Technologies
- Research infrastructures – part e-Infrastructures
- Leadership in industrial technologies – Information and Communication Technologies
- Societal Challenge: Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy – part Smart cities and communities
- Societal Challenge: Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw materials – with the exception of topics in the area of raw materials
- Societal Challenge: Europe in a changing world – inclusive, innovative and reflective Societies
Science with and for Society
Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda said “We know that sharing and re-using research data holds huge potential for science, society and the economy. This Pilot is an opportunity to see how different disciplines share data in practice and to understand remaining obstacles.”
Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said: “This pilot is part of our commitment to openness in Horizon 2020. I look forward to seeing the first results, which will be used to help set the course for the future.”
Projects may opt out of the pilot to allow for the protection of intellectual property or personal data; in view of security concerns; or should the main objective of their research be compromised by making data openly accessible.
The Pilot will give the Commission a better understanding of what supporting infrastructure is needed and of the impact of limiting factors such as security, privacy or data protection or other reasons for projects opting out of sharing. It will also contribute insights in how best to create incentives for researchers to manage and share their research data.
The Pilot will be monitored throughout Horizon 2020 with a view to developing future Commission policy and EU research funding programmes.