The European Commission has recently published the final report on the Transport Research Cloud (TRC). The ERAdiate ERA Chair Holder, Prof. Kováčiková, contributed as a member of the Expert Group appointed to produce this final report, an important policy development in the European transport context.

The TRC is related to the ongoing Open Science efforts, which aim at embracing the benefits of using digital technologies and new collaborative tools for opening up science and research. This is expected to increase the impact of science and to facilitate the innovation process by promoting sharing and the use of available knowledge at an earlier stage in the research process.

In the European context, the European Commission (EC) presented on 19 April 2016 a communication on the “European Cloud Initiative – Building a competitive data and knowledge economy in Europe”. The main aim of this initiative is to make it easier for researchers and innovators to access and re-use data, while reducing the costs of data storage and high-performance analysis. The European Cloud Initiative has been progressively put in place through a series of actions, including the creation of a European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) for European researchers and their global scientific collaborators by integrating and consolidating e-infrastructure platforms, federating existing scientific clouds and research infrastructures, and supporting the development of cloud-based services.

In October 2016, the High-Level Expert Group report on the European Open Science Cloud was published. The report made several recommendations to the EC on a preparatory phase for the EOSC, including specific policy, governance and implementation. In the spirit of the recommendations, the EC established a Commission Expert Group on Open Science – Transport Research Cloud. The Expert Group was chaired by J. Rod Franklin from Kühne Logistics University (Germany) and was composed of 5 other experts: Martin Böhm from AustriaTech (Austria), Sarah Jones from the Digital Curation Centre (UK), Tatiana Kováčiková from the University of Žilina (Slovakia), Katarzyna Nowicka from the SGH Warsaw School of Economics (Poland) and George Yannis from the National Technical University of Athens (Greece).

The Final Report titled “Analysis of the state of the art, barriers, needs and opportunities for setting up a Transport Research Cloud” was published by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Research and Innovation on 27 November 2018. This Report focuses on the requirements for data sharing within the transport research community. In particular, the Report examines the potential of a TRC as a subset of the European Union’s EOSC initiative. The experts collected data based on their personal experiences, contacts, prior research and a survey sent out to other researchers in the transport domain to enable a preliminary analysis concerning the needs, barriers and potential benefits for the domain, should a TRC be realized. From this work, ten recommendations split across 5 domains (Reusable research data, Data as a public good, Standards, Infrastructure, Incentives, Training and Education) were developed. The Expert Group underlines that these ten recommendations are to be addressed if a sustainable Transport Research Cloud is to be realized. For more details, please refer to the TRC final report.

The full report is available here.