A Successful Digital Single Market requires open science, open innovation, open scholarship and open infrastructures

The Research Data Alliance (RDA) Europe organised an event on the European Digital Single Market (DSM), hosted by MEP Henna Virkkunen (Finland) and MEP Catherine Stihler (GB). The event was held in the European Parliament, Brussels, on the 10th of November 2015. The aim was to raise awareness of the key role that open science, innovations and infrastructures play in building the Digital Single Market.

The DSM strategy, prepared by the European Commission (EC), has a target of creating conditions for free movement of digital content and services, in order to promote exploitation of digital goods, both as consumers and democratic actors. The EC was represented in the event by member of cabinet of Commissioner Günther Oettinger, Communications adviser Marlene Holzner.

The speakers, Professor John Wood (Association of Commonwealth Universities), Director Sandra Collins (National Library of Ireland) and Managing Director Kimmo Koski (CSC), emphasized, that Europe should take seriously the dramatic changes that we are facing in the way science and research are conducted, as well as the expansion of data volumes.

In the RDA event at the EU Parliament it was discussed, how open science, open infrastructures and open innovation can benefit the European Digital Single Market. In the photo, from left to right: Kimmo Koski, John Wood, Sandra Collins, Henna Virkkunen and Catherine Stihler. Picture: Micke Kari

Europe's competitiveness is at stake, and therefore it is of utmost importance, how this change is supported. It is difficult to predict what the implications will be, thus it would be a mistake to regulate too much at this stage. Data regulation can cause serious barriers to job creation and growth. Instead, policies, legislation and good practises should be established in a way that supports open science, innovations and infrastructures, because they are crucial factors, especially under the current economic crisis, to create growth, jobs and competitiveness.

Action list for the European Parliament

As a result from the discussion, a list of concrete measures was established, including e.g. modernising the copyright legislation so that materials protected by copyright could be used for research purposes, creating a code of conduct for ethical data use and e-infrastructure service provision, educating data skills on all levels and disciplines including teachers, ensuring sustainable funding for e-Infrastructrures.

In building the European Open Science Cloud (OSC), planned by the EC, the existing infrastructure basis should be taken into account. The OSC should be based on trust, collaboration, user-drivenness. It should be integrated, interoperable, with a wide scope across different scientific fields, providing a horizontal layer of common services, thus allowing a focus on discipline-specific functions for research communities.

Further information: Summary of the event, press release, action points, speakers' statements, information on speakers and on the RDA project:

Vision Statement: The European Open Science Cloud for Research

More information: Senior Specialist, Research Policy Irina Kupiainen, CSC, tel. +358 50 381 2644, email: