Sustainability Working Group

Providing a set of recommendations concerning the implementation of an operational, scalable and sustainable EOSC federation after 2020



 Rupert Lueck Conor O'Carroll


The EOSC Sustainability activity will provide a set of recommendations concerning the implementation of an operational, scalable and sustainable EOSC federation after 2020, will gradually open up its user base to the public sector and industry.

The activity examines suitable business models of EOSC, governance structures and legal entity. The analysis will result in a set of strategic and financing orientations for EOSC in its second phase of implementation (post 2020). The activity also examines the impact of each legal and financial option to different stakeholders at national and European level.

The Sustainability activity foresees discussing the alternative scenarios and options with the Governing Board and Executive Board at an early stage of work. Regular updates of the Governance Board on work progress are seen as a way to favour real-time harmonisation of the national positions and enable a timely set up of the EOSC future model.

The Sustainability activity builds on the legacy of the EOSC Roadmap, Council Conclusions 2018, Horizon 2020-funded projects, stakeholder reports and experience of similar initiatives. Taking on board input of ongoing international and national initiatives will support analysing the gaps towards identifying a future sustainable model for EOSC.

The Sustainability activity takes stock, assesses and recommends strategic, legal and financing orientations that EOSC could follow during its second phase of implementation (post 2020).

More specifically, the activity aims to:

1. Conduct an in-depth analysis of business models and their different implications in the choice of legal-entity, cost analysis, regulations, financial strategy and sustainability. The analysis would include an estimation of initial and longer-term cost projections. The proposed options accompanied with a sound risk analysis should be able to sustain, upgrade and scale the EOSC federation, as a whole and in its components. It should allow for alignment and convergence with national data infrastructures.

The final model will emerge as a transparent, concerted result of discussions with the Executive Board and the Governance Board and will be based on reliable mechanisms to ensure appropriate ongoing financial commitment by stakeholders and identify where funding responsibility lies for different components and services. It will identify income streams as well as opportunities for consolidation and economies of scale.

At the same time, the WG conducts either in subgroups or as an outsourced activity:

2. A mapping of potential legal entities taking into account the existing national and European legislation.

3. At the same time, and in line with the selected suitable legal entities, it analyses options for a governance framework to steer and oversee initial EOSC operations and further development beyond the initial phase. It is foreseen that the design of a suitable governance will follow the choice of the legal entity. The proposed framework will aim at balancing the requests of stakeholders, Member States and European Commission.

4. An analysis of the current regulatory/policy environments at the MS/AC levels for data and services with options and recommendations on how to regulate the EOSC ecosystem. The analysis should include an assessment of the impact that the proposed structures and funding streams will have on different stakeholders at national and European level.

It is important for the Sustainability activity to work in collaboration with Rules of Participation activity in order to ensure that the EOSC Governance and legal entity post-2020 will be compatible with the EOSC Rules of Participation.


  • Q4 2018: EOSC Governance established
  • Q3 2020: Recommendations on strategic and financing orientations and organisational settings for the future of the EOSC, post 2020

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