The thematic seminar of the Knowledge Exchange Platform (KEP 2.0) 'Open Science for higher quality, more efficient and impactful research – opportunities for Regions and Cities' was held on June 15, with the aim to highlight how providing open access to research results and data can deliver solutions to major societal challenges and support regional development.
The Knowledge Exchange Platform seminar took place just a few weeks after the EU Council adopted its conclusions on open science and high-quality, transparent, open, trustworthy and equitable scholarly publishing on 23 May. The conclusions call for immediate and unrestricted open access in publishing research especially if it involves public funds.
The Chair of the CoR's SEDEC commission, Mayor of Gabrovo Tanya Hristova (BG/EPP), highlighted not only the main concept of Open Science as a key tool for “sharing research results and policy insights in the innovation ecosystem at a local level" but also how it promotes the European Research Area (ERA), the European Innovation Area, and the European Educational Area, while falling under the New European Innovation Agenda. “I strongly believe in the effective and efficient communication of Open Science. 2023 is the European Year of Skills. Hence, we should also attempt to learn how to communicate science to citizens", said Mrs Hristova.
From her side, the Deputy Director-General of European Commission's DG Research and Innovation, Signe Ratso, underlined that the Commission's aim is to promote a “culture of transparency, collaboration and accessibility" for research. She pointed out that removing barriers helps to bridge the innovation gap between regions and boost growth, as it allows start-ups and businesses to leverage knowledge at the local level. Mrs Ratso added that providing equal access to data is about “democratising knowledge" and “supporting citizens' engagement". Initiatives such as European Open Science Cloud contribute to creating an open digital research environment.
During the meeting, local and regional case studies were presented by CoR members:
- Ricardo Rio (PT/EPP), Mayor of Braga Municipality, on Presenting the experience of Braga in the field of Open Science (video message).
- Markku Markkula (FI/EPP), President of the Helsinki Region, on What does it mean for the others when a city or region is an EU innovation forerunner? The case of the Espoo & Helsinki Region.
- Emil Boc (RO/EPP), Mayor of Cluj-Napoca Municipality, on Showcasing the innovative practices of Cluj-Napoca in the field of Open Science.
- Sergio Pérez García (ES/EA), Director-General for Foreign Affairs, Government of Navarra, on Showcasing the innovative practices of Navarra in the field of Open Science.
- János Ádám Karácsony (HU/ECR), Vice-President of the County Council of Pest Megye, on Showcasing the innovative practices of Pest County in the field of cultural heritage preservation through Open Science initiatives.
Within the Open Science for Society: Increasing Trust in Science case study, a video on Mutual Learning Exercise on Citizen Science showcased shared experiences across the EU on policies and practices for citizen science at local, regional, and national levels.
Open Science is a priority of the Swedish Presidency within the field of competitiveness, and more specifically, research and innovation. The Presidency's aim has been to support measures to promote an open exchange of knowledge and data within the European Research Area, increase knowledge valorisation in our societies, and accelerate the transition to open science.
The Knowledge Exchange Platform (KEP) is a cooperation between the CoR and the European Commission's Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, and it seeks to exchange new R&I solutions and best practices by organising horizontal seminars in Brussels and peer-to-peer events in the regions or hosting local showcasing events.
To re-watch the seminar, its sessions and case studies, click here.