Looking back on the “BioImaging and the European Open Science Cloud” workshop

May 8, 2023

What a great opportunity to engage different stakeholders in a dialogue about Open Science, Open Data and the Sustainability of the EOSC!

The Euro-BioImaging Industry Board,  supported by the EOSC-Life project, organized this 1.5-day workshop with more than 85 participants online and on site in Heidelberg, Germany. We saw a great mix of attendees from our imaging facilities, companies in the imaging sector, EOSC-Life partners, policy and publishing.

The meeting kicked off with a first session on Image Data Analysis as a Service, in which several Euro-BioImaging Nodes shared insights into their capacities for offering these services to users and the workflows and pipelines they support.

Industry Board Coordinator Claudia Pfander and Industry Board Chair Herbert Schaden (ZEISS) officially opened the event, and Herbert  Schaden explained why keeping in control of the ever-increasing amount of imaging data is important for quality research and of high interest for industry. His talk was followed by presentations from different organizations supporting the road towards FAIRification, from the BioImage Archive to national initiatives such as I3D:bio. Speakers then joined the panel discussion on how to facilitate FAIR data generation.

After lunch and a tour of the Imaging Centre, speakers from the Euro-BioImaging Nodes and industry presented challenges & solutions for research data management at core facilities. Martin Tewinkel, EVIDENT Olympus & Industry Board Co-Chair, explored challenges from his perspective on (big) data management.

The next session was dedicated to the European Open Science Cloud, with talks from Ilaria Nardello of the EOSC Association, and presentations on specific Open Science developments that image analysts can use to make it easier to take their data & metadata to the cloud. These tools include the BAND virtual desktop, OME.Zarr and other next generation file formats (NGFF), as well Galaxy and other developments to link the user with different data (analysis) resources. Industry partners also shared some of their big data tools and developments. The day closed with a great panel discussion on how to bring image analysis tools into the cloud and connect to EOSC.

Day 2 opened with use cases from EOSC-Life, sharing results from different cloud-based solutions and tools developed with funding from the project, including success stories from EOSC-Life open calls. Presenters highlighted other EC projects in the wider EOSC landscape that will bring Open Imaging Data sets and tools such as machine learning and BioImage models to researchers.

The concluding panel discussion highlighted the efforts made on the level of the scientific community and policy makers to implement EOSC and explored how institutions, research infrastructures and journals could step up their game to support long-term sustainability.

We were lucky to see so many FAIR data and open science enthusiasts, witness the many fruitful discussion and explore future avenues for collaboration. We would like to thank all the speakers, chairs, participants and organizers for making this such a great event!

This meeting and EOSC-Life have received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme under grant agreement number 824087.

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