Group of European ICSU Members

Workshop "Open data in science: challenges and opportunities for europe", Brussels, 31 January 2018


This workshop comprised eight presentations in four sessions on the perspectives of the science community, public research funders and the publishing sector as well on the policy framework, and concluded with a plenary discussion on the role and expectations of science academies. Some 80 meeting participants represented the entire breadth of science organisations from across Europe, i.e. academies, research performers and funding bodies as well as international science organisations and relevant government agencies.

Workshop rationale

Open Data as the topic for this workshop was chosen because it is important on the European science policy agenda and for the International Council for Science. Yet, the science academies have by and large been absent in the development of what is going by the name of Open Science ever since the European Commission’s consultation on Science 2.0 in 2014. The workshop therefore aimed to involve science academies in particular, but also other science organisations, in a policy dialogue to ensure unhindered access to data to foster scientific progress for the benefit of society. The Open Data workshop took place against the background of the current European Commission initiative to link data repositories into a European Open Science Cloud for the trusted hosting and processing research data.


A committee of scientists from the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland and Switzerland developed the conference programme. The Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT) as the chair and host of the secretariat of the European ICSU Members organised the meeting, generously supported by the All European Academies (ALLEA), the Council of Finnish Academies, the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and the UK Royal Society. The European Physical Society (EPS) facilitated access to the conference facilities of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), and SwissCore, the Swiss contact office in Brussels for European research, education and innovation, provided logistical assistance.