Vision for Nordic Open Science Data Collaboration

The NeIC 2022 Conference Programme Committee’s proposal for how we (all stakeholders) can work together on open science. Oslo, 31. May, 2022.

The Nordic countries are at a major crossroads in the evolution of knowledge. Digitalisation and the green shift are at the top of the EU’s research and innovation policy agenda, paralleling the Nordic Council of Ministers’ new vision for the Nordic Region to become the world’s most sustainable and integrated region by 2030. Open science¹ and data sharing will be a pillar in the concrete work to be undertaken in moving the hotbed of research and innovation towards the Nordic Region, as acknowledged in the Nordic Council of Ministers’ Ministerial Declaration Digital North 2.0. The vision of a European Open Science Cloud is forcefully supported by the Nordic and Baltic countries through the EOSC-Nordic project.

With its traditions of cooperation and culture of openness, the Nordic Region now has an unprecedented opportunity to take the lead and become a universal role model in open science and innovation, paralleling the Pact for Research and Innovation in Europe. Digital solutions for example in secure and ethical sharing of health data will save lives and simpler access to climate data will broaden the knowledge base for political decision-making related to global climate change.

We agree that enhanced Nordic collaboration on open science will improve the research system, boost innovation, and promote a wide range of future collaborative efforts in the Nordic Region as well as internationally. We believe that enhanced collaboration can be achieved through long-term engagement of the designated national organisations in the structured collaboration of the Nordic Council of Ministers and its institutions.

In order to harvest Nordic added value from open science we will prioritise:

  1. Developing common incentives for open science and innovation practices across the Nordic Region.
  2. Building Nordic open science green data spaces for research and innovation.
  3. Collaborating to train the future Data management Skills and Nordic Workforce of Data Stewards and Research Software Engineers.
  4. Stimulating Nordic open science and innovation through increasing the use of world-class green supercomputers.

Common Incentives for Open Science and Innovation Practices – Through common incentives the Nordic Region will be put in a world-leading position to harvest the benefits from open science and innovation. We will collaborate to develop mechanisms and incentives that stimulate a new research culture. This includes encouraging best practices in data citation. We will explore the use of open science practices to reduce publication bias and stimulate scientific reproducibility. We will also explore the application of open innovation strategies in solving grand societal challenges and missions.

Nordic Open Science Green Data Spaces – Through linking national repositories on climate and biodiversity we can create Nordic data spaces with common standards of relevance, implement controlled-vocabularies, and develop tools to provide effective and quality controlled data submission procedures for the community. The open science green data spaces may help in uniting efforts (and possibly the service itself) on the Nordic-level for a cost effective and coherent implementation as well as improving the integration with international initiatives.

Data Management Skills and Nordic Workforce of Data Stewards and Research Software Engineers – In order to enable publication of research outputs we will collaborate to increase data management skills of researchers and also train and maintain a pool of data stewards and research software engineers. The next generation of researchers and data experts need profound understanding of the full eco-system of FAIR data, including knowledge of metadata standards, semantic interoperability, digital objects, provenance, licensing and more.

World-class Green Supercomputing Infrastructure – Nordic researchers have unprecedented opportunities to benefit from the European supercomputing infrastructure. The LUMI supercomputer, located in Finland, offers supercomputing using renewable energy. Furthermore, Nordic collaboration on quantum computing is growing. The Nordic countries can collaborate to train researchers in the use of high-end resources and novel technologies. Finally, the resources need to be prepared to handle the increased number of sensitive data applications such as health-related research.

¹ The terms science and research are used interchangeably in this document as the practical use of these terms vary with country, discipline and context.