Photon and Neutron EOSC Symposium and PaNOSC & ExPaNDS Annual Meeting: an Overview

Over 140 participants, including IT professionals, researchers and managers from photon and neutron facilities, and representatives of the EOSC landscape, attended the 1st online Photon and Neutron EOSC Symposium, jointly organized by PaNOSC and ExPaNDS on 9th November.

The projects’ annual meeting followed on 10th – 11th November, gathering PaNOSC and ExPaNDS managers and contributors to present the projects’ status and roadmap for the future, and to interact with the community to further increase the impact of the actions implemented so far.

The presentations for both the Symposium and the Annual Meeting are available on the following links:

After the welcome address by Florian Gliksohn, Associate Director at ELI-DC – main organizer of the event – the Symposium started with the session about PaNOSC and ExPaNDS: perspectives for future services to users, moderated by Sophie Servan (DESY).

To allow external attendees of the projects gain a better understanding of Photon and Neutron (PaN) facilities, and the key role they play in the construction of the EOSC, Andy Götz (ESRF) and Patrick Fuhrmann (DESY) – PaNOSC and ExPaNDS coordinators, respectively – introduced the audience to the PaN ecosystem, and to the scientific domains in which PaN research infrastructures operate. Giving an overview of the projects’ goals and of the challenges they strive to tackle in the field of FAIR data production and stewardship, from acquisition to publication and data re-use. Delivering the highest number of real use-cases for PaN scientists will be key to prove the projects’ impact and success. The draft use cases template developed in PaNOSC was presented, together with a number of first use cases in the fields of data reduction and processing, open data publication, remote access and analysis, and data simulation.

Andy and Patrick continued with the presentation of the PaNOSC data portal, which will provide unified access to the resources of ExPaNDS and PaNOSC facilities, and of the PaN training portal, a one stop shop to access the PaN e-learning platform “”, as well as a wide variety of PaN training events and materials. [Download the presentation here]

The second session moderated by Rudolf Dimper (ESRF) on Perspectives for the Photon and Neutron communities in the next phase of EOSC – started with the talk by Tiziana Ferrari (Director of the EGI Foundation), who explained how the EOSC-hub has provided support to science use cases and introduced the audience to the EGI-ACE (Advanced Computing for EOSC) H2020 project, starting in January 2021. Its goal is to implement the Compute Platform of the EOSC, and contribute to the EOSC Data Commons by delivering integrated computing, platforms, data spaces and tools as an integrated solution that is aligned with major European cloud federation projects and HPC initiatives. [Download the presentation here]

Research Infrastructures are essential for EOSC’s implementation and success”. This was the main point made by Jan Hrušak (Chair of ESFRI and chair of the EOSC Landscape Working Group) who reminded all of the importance of a joint effort to align national policies to ensure EOSC’s sustainability. [Download the presentation here]

The EOSC Association was officially founded in July 2020, with the aim of building the EOSC ecosystem collaboratively with all stakeholders through the EOSC Partnership. Rupert Lück (Head of IT at EMBL and EOSC Sustainability Working Group co-chair) gave an update on its timeline and explained the reasons for joining it. Rupert also presented the work carried out by the Sustainability Working Group to develop recommendations for EOSC’s post-2020 sustainability, i.e. business models, legal entity options, governance, and national policy issues, as highlighted in the Strawman – Tinman and (FAIR) Iron Lady documents. The latter has proposed the adoption of an iterative approach towards the establishment of a Minimum Viable EOSC (MVE) as a first step for the initial implementation of EOSC, which brings value to users beyond their current use of infrastructures, as it will federate infrastructures and enable cross-disciplinary research. [Download the presentation here] 

The session ended with Christian Cuciniello (European Commission Project Officer for ExPaNDS) giving an update on the EOSC towards Horizon Europe, with a focus on the status of the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda, which feeds into the work programmes aimed to define future projects and funding under Horizon Europe. [Download the presentation here]

In the last session – FAIR from a user perspective, Susan Daenke (Instruct-ERIC) showed how Instruct-ERIC, together with the Research Infrastructures (RIs) in the life sciences community have proceeded in their roadmap towards FAIR data management. Firstly with the West-Life project, which ended in 2019, and later with EOSCLife, which will shape EOSC for life sciences data needs, through the publication of data and tools for cloud use. Susan also promoted the digital life sciences call, open until 22 December 2020, for projects sharing data, tools and workflows in the cloud, and willing to contribute to developing an open digital space for data and tools in the life sciences, fostering interdisciplinary collaborations and advancing data-heavy research areas. [Download the presentation here]

Filipe Maia (Uppsala University) talked about his experience in the launch and construction of the Coherent X-ray Imaging DataBank (, which aims to foster reproducible research, enable the test of ideas on real data, and preserve datasets for future analysis. Maia presented the status of CXIB, and the challenges to data storage and data sharing (based on the feedback from the user community), as well as the solutions adopted to stimulate users opening their data, such as the creation of a CXI common data format compatible with NeXuS, and the linkage of data entries and analysis’ descriptions to Github repositories, to foster data reproducibility. [Download the presentation here]

On the 10th – 11th November, the PaNOSC and ExPaNDS Annual Meeting focused on the achievements in the different projects’ Work Packages (WPs), also highlighting the areas of cross-collaboration. The meeting allowed the over 120 projects’ contributors attending the event, to receive an update on the status of the work plan and to ask questions, give feedback and make suggestions for further improvements in the different projects’ domains: FAIR open data policy, services for data catalogue and data analysis, simulation data systems, EOSC integration, user and staff training, sustainability, communication and dissemination. [Download the presentations here]

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