1. Open data: exploring opportunities for open access to primary environmental data

    published on Monday, July 25, 2011 under Research & Innovation

    Among the projects launched under the FP7 2012 call for proposals, the European Commission has opened a call for open access to primary environmental data. The aim of this study is to explore in a comparative manner across environmental science disciplines, the main barriers and opportunities related to open access (free of charge online access) to primary environmental data, notably from EU-funded projects but also taking into account national and local data.

    The European Commission published grants for research and innovation on 20 of July, which are the biggest ever such funding package (7 billions euro). Its main goal is to promote research to tackle the biggest societal challenges facing Europe and the world. Among the call for proposals published by the EU, it has been published a specific one called 'Exploring opportunities for open access to primary environmental data' (ENV.2012.6.5-3 included within FP7-ENV-2012-one-stage call), which main aim is to explore in a comparative manner across environmental science disciplines the main barriers and opportunities related to open access (free of charge online access) to primary environmental data, notably from EU-funded projects but also taking into account national and local data.

    According to the ePSI platform, the study should identify and document the difficulties and benefits scientists are facing in sharing, accessing and subsequently using 'open' primary data and it is carried out in association with European environmental research information facilities and networks. The work should be based on experience and results from earlier EU-funded projects relevant to this issue and interact with ongoing projects on or providing experiences with open access under the FP7 Cooperation Specific Programme. The quantitative and qualitative analysis of the root causes for existing barriers, whether behavioural, political, legal, technical or other, should translate into an action plan of concrete future remedies, in accordance with the provisions laid down in the INSPIRE Directive and in the SEIS initiative. The requested European Union contribution per project – in this case, up to one proposal can be selected - shall not exceed one million euro.

    The grants are part of the FP7, the largest research funding programme in the world, with a budget of more than €53 billion for 2007-2013. Member States have put research and innovation at the top of the European political agenda, by adopting the Europe 2020 strategy and endorsing the Innovation Union, making it the cornerstone of plans for investment in sustainable growth and jobs.

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