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Published: 2022-10-13 Updated: 2022-11-21, 17:29

The university library and HPC2N are participating in Skills4EOSC

NEWS Umeå University is one of four Swedish higher education institutions contributing to the pan-European Skills4EOSC project. The project aims for Europe to have access to a workforce with the necessary skills in open science in the future. Umeå University Library and HPC2N are working together to help establish professional networks and opportunities for lifelong skills development.

Text: Sanna Isabel Ulfsparre

The Skill4EOSC project has started

The European project Skills4EOSC (Skills for the European Open Science commons: creating a training ecosystem for Open and FAIR science) aim to accelerate training and skills development opportunities for European researchers and to harmonise training and skills description for other professional roles in Open data and Open science.

Skills4EOSC is building a pan-European network of competence centres and the project is coordinated by Italian Consortium GARR. It is funded under the Horizon Europe Framework Programme and officially launched at a kick-off meeting in Pisa on 21-22 September 2022.

Collaboration for a trusted skills ecosystem

Over the next three years, the project participants will work to provide shared resources (Open science commons) to support the development of a skilled European workforce ready for the EOSC (The European Open Science Cloud). EOSC is a complex infrastructure built on connections and communication between systems, countries, research and human resources. In recent years, the EOSC has increasingly evolved from being one of eight ambitions of the EU's open science policy to being the conduit supporting the other ambitions as well. Still, one of the main focuses of the EOSC remains open data.

An important part of the project is to connect existing competence centres in open science and scientific data management. Those connections will enable the dissemination and sustainability of the methods, activities and training resources developed by the project and will be important for the coordination of the current training and skills development landscape. By doing this, Skills4EOSC aim to create a collaborative and trusted ecosystem for skills development in Europe, which will address the need for targeted and area-specific support to provide the best possible conditions for the open and data-intensive research enabled by the EOSC.

The project consortium brings together 44 partners from 18 European countries (Italy, the Netherlands, France, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Poland, Sweden, Estonia, Spain and the UK). Representatives come from a range of national, regional, institutional and thematic open science and data management competence centres.

Project objectives

The project is structured around six main areas of activity:

  1. Minimum Viable Skillsets (MVS): an MVS is a tailored set of minimum requirements for competencies and skill levels for a specific professional profile in open science. Skills4EOSC will build on results from previous work, comprehensively mapping different career profiles and defining a profile of competencies for each of them.

  2. Training of Trainers (ToT): ToT will enable an increase in the number of trainers in a cost-effective manner. We will tackle this with the power of our network, which covers 18 European countries and can have a broad impact.

  3. FAIR-by-design methodology for learning materials: Skills4EOSC will define a methodology to ensure that courses and training materials are fully compliant with FAIR principles, making them reusable for humans and machines. We will achieve this by providing rich contextual information (metadata) on how training courses are organised, delivered and assessed.

  4. Harmonised curricula and learning pathways in Open Science: Skills4EOSC will harmonise curricula and learning pathways aimed at:

    * scientists at different career stages,
    * data and data management professionals
    * decision-makers
    * organisations offering training based on discipline or theme
    * and training targeted at research infrastructures.

    Such harmonisation will allow the creation of curricula targeting specific professional profiles recognised across Europe while responding to their different training needs. Based on the MVS defined for each target group, it will be possible to adapt the general content to cover the subjects and competencies of specific target groups.

  5. Lifelong learning through professional networks: OS is a rapidly evolving field, and professionals must update and refresh their skills to work effectively. Skills4EOSC will use professional and thematic networks of peers as vehicles for lifelong learning and building and sustaining the EOSC-ready digitally qualified workforce.

  6. Skills4EOSC competence centres and support networks: the creation of a broad network of competence centres is essential to adapt and sustain the primary outcomes of the project:

    * Curricula
    * Frameworks for quality assurance and certification of skills and materials
    * Professional networks
    * User support networks
    * Training of Trainers (ToT) programmes

It is also essential to establish a user support network for the whole scientific workflow, from FAIR data management tools, through data-intensive science and high-level technologies, including artificial intelligence, to the delivery of scientific results.

Skills4EOSC

The EU's open science policy