Open Science describes the on-going transitions in the way research is performed, researchers collaborate, knowledge is shared, and science is organised. It represents a systemic change in the modus operandi of science and research. It affects the whole research cycle and its stakeholders, enhances science by facilitating more transparency, openness, networking, collaboration, and refocuses science from a 'publish or perish' perspective to a knowledge-sharing perspective.
Open science is also about making sure that science serves innovation and growth. It guarantees open access to publicly-funded research results and the possibility of knowledge sharing by providing infrastructures. Facilitating access to those data will encourage re-use of research output. For example, companies, and particularly SMEs, can access and re-use data, infrastructures and tools easily and at a reasonable cost and can accelerate the implementation of ideas for innovative products and services.
Under the EU research and innovation funding programme Horizon 2020, open access to publications is now mandatory and we launched a Pilot on Open Research Data.
In the context of the Digital Single Market Strategy, we will soon be launching a European Open Science Cloud initiative which will combine existing and future data infrastructures, offering secure and seamless access to European researchers for storing, managing and processing data from different sources.
We have full support from the Members States: in late May, the Competitiveness Council adopted Council Conclusions on "Open, data-intensive and networked research as a driver for faster and wider innovation" in which it is stated that Member States "look forward to the possible development of action plans or strategies for open science". Member States have also expressed interest in the development of a European Open Science Agenda.
Meanwhile, national and stakeholder initiatives on open science, in Europe and beyond, are materialising, demonstrating a general interest in the subject.
We have to ensure that open science develops in the right way to contribute to the common effort to make the EU more competitive and maintain excellence in science.
First, it is crucial to advance open science at national, European and global levels. This requires mutual responsiveness of all key-stakeholders involved - research performing organisations, research funding organisations, and businesses, and will imply a review of how science is evaluated, the creation of new research funding mechanisms, and alternative ways of publishing.
Second, we need to create an open science environment that is friendly to both science and business.
Third, open science should be an inclusive process. We need to stimulate further engagement of open science stakeholders ranging from individual researchers to universities, from start-ups to large companies. Open science is also about making sure that science becomes more responsive to socio-economic and citizens' demands. It will enable faster innovation. Last year's public consultation on "Science 2.0: Science in Transition" and today's conference are important steps in this direction.
On this basis, the Commission plans to work towards on a European Open Science Agenda with all concerned stakeholders and Member States.