Open Science Commons


European Commons Assembly – Brussels 15-17 Nov 2016

From the 15th-17th of November 2016 a European Commons Assembly will take place in Brussels. On the afternoon of the 16th there will be a meeting in the European Parliament, in cooperation with the EP intergroup on Common Goods and Public Services (Led by Marisa Matias, Dario Tamburrano, Ernesto Urtasun, Sergio Cofferati). Around 150 commoners will convene, discuss, showcase, and reclaim Europe. A variety of other events (and local assemblies) will take place outside Parliament, both in Brussels and across Europe, as part of the Days of Convergence.

The objectives are to gain visibility and credibility for the commons movement at large, make concrete legislative and funding proposals, and promote direct democratic participation in EU institutions. The event will not be a traditional parliamentary assembly, but rather a dynamic and participatory process facilitated by a professional moderator. Outside of the formal 3.5-hour meeting, MEPs will be invited to participate in self-organised events.

For more information:

Internet as a Commons: Public Space in the Digital Age

Today, the European Parliament will host a conference about Internet as a Commons. Discussions will focus around net neutrality, infrastructure neutrality and Internet monopolies as the most important decisions to be made. Developing a European vision is a critical step for ensuring an Internet accessible by all, and managed by a plurality of actors in a way benefiting society at large. The event can be followed in live streaming starting from 3PM.

The Open Science Commons is adopted by the European Council

By Tiziana Ferrari, Technical Director of

On May 28 2015 the Council adopted the Open Science Commons for “open, data-intenstive and networked research”.

It is with great pleasure that we announce that the Open Science Commons vision, extensively discussed at the recent EGI Conference in Lisbon, was adopted in May by the European Council in the conclusions on “open, data-intensive and networked research”.

The Council has acknowledged the potential of open science and has welcomed the “growing support for
open access to publicly funded research publications and underlying data”.

The Council underlined “the importance of developing EU-wide data communities of researchers, research funding organisations, research performing organisations, companies, SMEs, public sector and other relevant stakeholders” and recognized the importance of initiatives “aiming at sharing and governing advanced digital services, scientific instruments, data, knowledge and expertise that enable researchers to collaborate more effectively, such as the Open Science Commons”!

Open Science Commons – report from the Lisbon meeting

By Tiziana Ferrari, Technical Director of

The EGI Conference 2015 hosted the first full day workshop on the Open Science Commons. The main goal was to discuss the vision, how it can be improved, how it relates to existing initiatives and how the Open Science Commons can harmonize them to effectively tackle the challenges of Open Science in Europe.

As rapporteur I was pleased to see how the participants engaged in a vivid discussion demonstrating how the realization of the Open Science commons today is still an open objective requiring the participation of a vast community of stakeholders, which needs organization and coordination to produce tangible results.

During the workshop funding agencies, policy makers, and representatives of research infrastructures and national and international e-Infrastructures contributed to an active discussion of the Open Science Commons. The policy received unanimous support, which is very good to see. The participants however agreed that different existing European initiatives need to be harmonized and the  Open Science Commons need a clear ownership, governance and implementation plan.

We look forward to receiving your feedback to the summary of themes and recommendations below.

Themes and Recommendations

Speakers (in alphabetical order):
BB – Bruce Becker (National Coordinator at the South African National Grid, SAGrid)
BF – Brett Frischmann (Professor and Director of the Intellectual Property and Information Law, Cardozo Law School)
JC – José Cotta (Head of Unit for Digital Science, DG Connect, EC)
MC – Massimo Cocco (Coordinator of the European Plate Observation System)
SN – Sami Niinimaki (Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland)
SA – Sergio Andreozzi (Strategy & Policy Manager,
SB – Sergio Bertolucci (Director for Research and Computing, CERN)
SH – Sverker Holmgren (Chair, European e-Infrastructure Reflection Group, e-IRG)
WL – Weiner Lusoli (Policy Officer, DG Research and Innovation at the EC)

Open Science Commons (OSC)

The Open Science Commons received resounding support from the speakers and audience, as it is aligns well and expands ongoing policy activities, for example lead by the EC, e-IRG and ESFRI.
– The further development of the policy requires the full involvement of Member States (SH)
– The Commons defined as “resource management/governance institutions that enable sustainable shared use of certain resources within a community” can be beneficial in many sectors, but not necessarily in all, it is important to analyse in which cases the Commons need to be applied (BF)


The realize the openness of Science in the Commons, the governance needs to be inclusive: data providers, Research Infrastructures and e-Infrastructures as service providers, but also scientists and citizens, funding agencies and government, industry, education and professional trainers (SN, MC, BB).
– Open Science has not yet established a governance in Europe (JC, WL)
– Besides being inclusive, the governance of the OSC needs to reflect the federated nature of Europe and of the Commons. There is a need for “nested Commons”, various best practices of nested Commons exist, these need to be analysed to see how they can be applied to the European context of research, where the Commons are being developed in silos (BF, SA, SH).
– A common vocabulary and agreed definition of “Infrastructure” is necessary to distinguish between baseline general-purpose services and community-specific services that benefit from the infrastructure commons (BF, SH).
– The Commons need to be participatory, a bottom up approach is needed to allow communities to build Commons, in the context of a regulated system (BB, WL).
– A project to carry out a design study to define the best practices of nested Commons, to provide guidelines and principles would be beneficial (SH, SA, MC).

Ownership, Community building and Coordination

– The development of the OSC requires the establishment of an organization that is willing to take ownership of the policy, willing to coordinate it and lead community building activities, as engagement of the users is paramount (JC, SH, MC, SB).
– Ownership is important to coordinate the OSC implementation (SH, JC, WL).

Need for an OSC Implementation roadmap and communication strategy

– The OSC is very comprehensive and an implementation plan for the short term (2 years) is necessary, identifying priorities (MC), and leveraging the national roadmaps where available (SN).
– A phased approach is needed (BB).
– What is the maturity level in supporting the Commons and Open Science? this requires continuous assessment (SN)


– There is a general need for transnational access to infrastructures across Europe allowing for shared access of jointly provided services to increase utilization and efficiency, aggregate demand and create economies of scale (MC, SN, SA).
– There is a need for the definition/harmonization of access policies and cross-border coordinated capacity management.

Sustainability and Funding

It is important to establish the principles of sustainability for the long-term funding of the Commons. This is linked to the definition of the economic value of the Commons: closed community infrastructures vs the Commons (BF, SB, MC).
– The socio-economic impact of the OSC needs to be understood (MC, SN), procurement schemes for capacity management nationally and internationally need to be established (MC, SN, SB).
– The OSC business models need to be defined.
– National funding is important as stimulus (SN) and for capacity building (BB).
– Investments from private sector are necessary (BB).

Technical integration and standards

Not only a nested multi-level governance is needed for the realization of the OSC, but also technical interoperability based on standards adoption for integrated service provisioning (SA, SH)

Data commons

– Importance of sharing but with an eye on ethics and European data regulations
– data discoverability, accessibility, interoperability and reuse -> the OSC need to provide services in each of these areas
– Training and education are needed for the use of data for multi-disciplinary purposes, and the realization of the Knowledge Commons.


Currently policies are helping opening the results of the research process, need of policies for opening the entire life cycle of science (SA, SN).

First Open Science Commons workshop (19 May 2015)

The goal of the first Open Science Commons workshop (19 May 2015) is to discuss with representatives from funding agencies, policy makers, data archiving organisations, knowledge institutions, research infrastructures and e-Infrastructures how to collaboratively contribute to the development of an open science commons.

The workshop will take place at the EGI Conference 2015, to be held in Lisbon, Portugal (18-22 May).

The preliminary list of topics to address are:
– the governance, policies needed at national and European level to implement the Open Science Commons
– the economies of scale achieved by sharing of instrumentation, data, e-Infrastructures and knowledge
– the role of member states to ensure the availability of persistent national e-Infrastructures for archiving, storage, computing, networking and other horizontal capabilities necessary to support Research Infrastructures, and of the EC in federating these to support the ERA
– the access policies needed to avoid a digital divide in Europe
– how Research Infrastructures can benefit from the Open Science Commons
– the roadmap for the implementation of the Open Science Commons