World-leading research institutes have agreed to join forces with funding agencies and policymakers to create the European Open Science Cloud, the largest shared data repository in history.
The idea is to give every scientific user access to the data resulting from research carried out with public funding, using a single login.
According to Professor Iain Mattaj, head of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany, the cloud-based service could facilitate the sort of interdisciplinary collaboration that has transformed our present understanding of the earth's climate and the human genome.
By 2020, it could grant the science community direct and easy access to scientific data generated by publicly funded research, and used for scientific publication.
Broad agreement on the go-ahead came during the European Open Science Cloud Summit in Brussels, Belgium, on 12 June.
Carlos Moedas, the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, described the European Open Science Cloud as a one-stop shop for scientists to pool their observations, and as a commons for European science.
‘I see it as a new Republic of Letters,’ he said, referring to the correspondence between intellectuals during the Age of Enlightenment.
The platform could save time on unnecessary duplication of experiments and grant even small research groups access to vast data samples.
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