Blue-Cloud2026 at the EOSC WinterSchool 2024

26 February 2024

From the 30th of January to the 1st of February 2024, Blue-Cloud2026 participated in the EOSC Winterschool 2024 in Thessaloniki. While the name “Winterschool” hints at classes and education, the event's main objective was to establish communication among the EOSC Taskforces and EOSC-related projects and define further actions and objectives. To represent Blue-Cloud2026 in Thessaloniki was Erwan Bodere, Project Engineer (IFREMER), Marc Portier, Open Science Team Lead (VLIZ), Alexandra Kokkinaki, Senior Semantic Data Scientist (BODC) Lennert Tyberghein, Data Centre Division Manager (VLIZ), and Peter Thijsse, Project Manager (MARIS). 

The event featured hands-on sessions on ontologies, metadata, and interoperable services, presentations on EOSC architecture, e-infrastructures, and projects like EOSC Raise and FAIR-EASE, emphasising collaboration, semantic interoperability, and the development of a federated model for describing services and datasets in line with EOSC recommendations. 

EOSC winter school attendees

Blue-Cloud's contribution to the EOSC Winterschool 2024 

Blue-Cloud's participation in the EOSC Winterschool 2024 focused on its contributions to the development and implementation of innovative marine and maritime research infrastructures within the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). 
Blue-Cloud 2026’s delegation played an important role in discussions on improving interoperability within the marine data space. Focusing on variable measured, inconsistencies, and interoperable services, the team advocated for a dual approach leveraging both’s “variableMeasured” and SOSA properties. 
During the event, the Blue-Cloud2026 delegation engaged in discussions with other EOSC projects, such as FAIR-EASE, EuroScienceGateway, AI4Science, EOSC Raise, and AquaINFRA. These discussions revolved around various topics including the deployment of Galaxy in D4Science, interoperable solutions like RO-CRATE and OGC standards, the use of EGI Infrastructure Manager for deploying solutions such as MLFlow, and addressing technical issues similar to those encountered by FAIR-EASE with a planned tie-up between AquaINFRA and FAIR-EASE. 

A key takeaway is the recognition of substantial work needed to achieve interoperability of data and services within EOSC. Despite the existence of various solutions, a unified approach for describing services and datasets at the source remains an open challenge.

The current system relies on a centralised marketplace model, with onboarding via a central portal. The future vision, however, leans towards a federated model, where research infrastructures (RIs) and other data and service infrastructures describe their services in a yet-to-be-determined format and technology that EOSC recommends or accepts, likely aligning with standards like DCAT, RDF, JSON LD, and FAIR Data Points. Projects like Blue-Cloud2026 and FAIR-EASE have made significant strides towards this vision, contributing to a working group of experts, all working on semantic interoperability, to share views and support each other.

EOSC winter school photo

What's Next

The Winter School was a very successful initiative, and organisers aim to repeat it in the future. It was a chance for project teams and Task Force leaders to come together for in-depth discussions about their initiatives, aiming to integrate Task Forces' outcomes into projects. 
The Blue-Cloud2026 team is proud and pleased to have contributed to the Winterschool and will continue to be committed to promoting data sharing, interoperability, and the use of cloud-based services among the marine research community, aligning with EOSC’s goals of facilitating open science and research collaboration across disciplines and borders. 


Visit the EOSC Winterschool 2024 event page

Blue-Cloud2026 at EOSC Winterschool