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EOSC-hub with 9 spokes: the structure of the digital innovation wheel

Matti Heikkurinen gives an overview of the EOSC-hub key exploitable results

There is a temptation to define major projects like EOSC-hub using large, impressive numbers: 100 partners, thousands of person-months, more than 50 countries. However, the most impressive number is probably one: the project is focused on contributing to a single vision: EOSC as the shared space for research and innovation in Europe.

However, neither one innovation space nor 100 partners are ideal answers to the question “What does EOSC-hub do?”. Thus, one of the roles of the Key Exploitable Results (KER) is to make the cornucopia of project outputs and activities easier to grasp. KERs do not automatically cover everything of value, but they are deemed to be the best starting points for uptake and future developments. 

EOSC-hub project has identified the following 9 KERs as its “showcases”, listed and summarised as follows:

  • EOSC Marketplace and EOSC-hub contribution to the EOSC Portal

    • Being able to find the services that are available as EOSC services is a crucial part of building the critical mass for the new innovation ecosystem. EOSC-hub, OpenAIRE and eInfraCentral partnered to create a permanent entry point - the EOSC Portal - to ensure that the current and future services can be promoted, discovered and taken into use by the EOSC users and service providers. 

  • Internal Services provided in the Hub Portfolio

    • Internal Services support integrating services (e.g. the External Services) to the EOSC Portal and making it possible to provide users with more uniform experience when combining services from different providers.

  • External Services for research in the EOSC Service Portfolio

    • Most of the EOSC-hub users are also developing tools and solutions, and most of these solutions are potentially useful for other users. The EOSC Service Portfolio covers the tasks needed to add these new services to the marketplace and the EOSC Portal.  

  • Service Management System (SMS)

    • A mature service is usually noticed only when it fails: flipping a switch and staying in the dark, opening the tap and having to leave the house with shampoo in the hair or waiting for a bus and giving up after half an hour. The goal of the SMS is to keep EOSC-hub users from noticing the key services. The EOSC-hub environment poses some additional challenges: services need to link new, non-standard voltages and water pressures from different sources, and the “commuters” usually carry backpacks that are the size of a house.

  • Digital Innovation Hub: Platform for industrial collaborations with EOSC

    • Industrial R&D and academic research share tools and services - despite the big differences in goals and constraints between the sectors. The Digital Innovation Hub consolidates the knowledge, skills and approaches the project uses to increase the reuse of tools and services and to make EOSC-hub services suitable and relevant for the industrial partners.

  • Business and sustainability models for services and the Hub

    • To achieve its goals as a shared innovation space, EOSC services need to be persistent in a sustainable manner. This means that all of the participants in the EOSC service ecosystem need to be financially sustainable. The diversity of the ways to achieve this adds to the challenge. Some of the services are accessible against a fee, but many of the EOSC-hub ones need to be similar to library resources: free at the point of use and not financed by advertisement or other methods used by the commercial “free” services. The business and sustainability models KER summarises the identified viable approaches to the sustainability of the EOSC-hub services. 

  • Rules of Participation

    • To ensure uniform user experience for the users of the services that they access through the marketplace, it is necessary to understand the quality and maturity of both internal and external services. The Rules of Participation include criteria that are used to determine in what way the service could and should be included in the EOSC Service Portfolios and therefore in the marketplace.

  • Integration and interoperability guidelines

    • This KER contains a set of technical specifications that allow developers to gain full benefits from the Internal Services in the Hub Portfolio and ensure interoperability with other services accessible through the marketplace.

  • Training courses and material

    • The numerous services provided by the EOSC-hub community and the project need to be supported by an extensive and consistently curated collection of training and education material and services. This service ensures that it is possible to identify the courses and material that is most relevant for each of the members and groups in the diverse user community.

Matti Heikkurinen is Senior Strategy and Innovation Officer at the EGI Foundation and part of the EOSC-hub Innovation Management Team.

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