OSCARS – Open Science Cluster Action for Research & Society, is a four-year project funded ~25M EUR in the frame of the European Commission Horizon Europe call HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-01, under grant agreement no. 101129751. It brings together world-class European RIs in the ESFRI roadmap and beyond, with the ultimate goal of fostering the uptake of Open Science in Europe across scientific disciplines and communities. 

All Science Clusters will keep working together in OSCARS to maintain the high-momentum achieved in the past years on FAIR data management and connecting research communities from all scientific domains to the EOSC. 

The first objective is thus to consolidate the achievements of the Science Clusters into lasting interdisciplinary FAIR data services and working practices. Moreover, the project will lead and foster the involvement of a broad range of research communities in EOSC by launching two Open Calls (total worth ~16 million Euro) for the development of new, innovative Open Science projects, that together will drive the uptake of FAIR-data-intensive research throughout the European Research Area (ERA). Projects can be proposed in the field of any of the Science Clusters, by any researcher or group of researchers, through a cascading grant mechanism. The first Open Call was launched in March 2024. The second Open Call is expected to be launched in November 2024.

To increase data FAIRness, OSCARS will also further develop a FAIR-compliant certification scheme for research data, community-based science platforms embedded in the EOSC EU Node and providing access to FAIR data services, data sources, guidelines and training. It will, in addition, provide highly composable research-enabling services, as well as data processing and management solutions. 

Furthermore, the concept of one Community-based Competence Centre (CCC) per Science Cluster is something new that will be deployed to leverage the specific achievements and competences of each cluster, addressing each scientific community’s culture and needs, while at the same time strengthening intra-cluster collaboration by sharing best practices and jointly developing common strategies. 

The implementation of the work has started based on a long-standing collaboration among all the clusters, whose role in the ERA will be further strengthened, recognised, acknowledged and sustained for the future. It is expected that, through OSCARS, the advances in organisational models, as well as in sharing digital technologies and services for the benefit of all domains, will be further strengthened, and that there will be a widespread uptake of multidisciplinary Open Science practices in the different research communities and beyond. 

This will also be possible through the collaboration with the Horizon Europe EVERSE project, which started in March 2024, and which aims to create a framework for research software and code excellence, collaboratively designed and championed by the research communities, in pursuit of building a European network of Research Software Quality and setting the foundations of a future Virtual Institute for Research Software Excellence. 

Furthermore, the Science Clusters will consolidate their role as thematic EU nodes for ‘Open Research’, and will establish and operate Competence Centres and virtual research environments fostering the alignment of practices in scientific data analysis.