Open infrastructure is one of the vital components within open science (UNESCO,2020) by harnessing the
most advanced research facilities and software, to handle those massive cross-disciplinary research
resources. There’re already many e-infrastructures around the world, notably the European Open Science
Cloud from the European Commission, New Digital Research Infrastructure Organization in Canada, the
CSTCloud from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the ARDC e-infrastructure in Australia, XSEDE and other
research e-infrastructure related initiatives in the US, the African Open Science Platform, etc.
Among all of these notable research e-infrastructures, we see the great potentials by better connectivity
and interoperability between each other. What if we can have an open science cloud connecting more and
more existing research facilities around the globe? The idea of a Global Open Science Cloud (GOSC) was
initiated during the CODATA 2019 Beijing conference. The mission of GOSC is to interconnect different
institutional, national and regional open science clouds and platforms to create a global virtual
environment for globalized research and innovation. It aims to provide better ways to fully harness the
global scientific research resources, and to help bridge the divide in infrastructure, technique, and
capacity building among different countries, regions, and institutions.
The Global Open Science Cloud is to co-design and co-build a cross-continental federated e-infrastructure
and virtual research environment for global cooperation and open science by harmonized policies,
interoperable protocols, transparent services and sustained mechanism. Network connectivity, secure AAI,
computing federation, FAIR data, policy alignment, are all the key components.
To strengthen the capacity of connectivity and interoperability between different research platforms，
Chinese Academy of Sciences funded an international partnership program recently. This program is a
five-year pilot project entitled as “GOSC Initiative” starting early 2021 by CNIC, CAS.
GOSC refers to a cross-continental federated e-infrastructure and virtual research environment for
global cooperation and open science. The consolidated foundation for GOSC may include at least five
different layers. At the bottom, global network connectivity increases our capacity for massive data
transfer and online data processing. The upper-level cloud federation provides federated services
such as cloud computing, cloud storage, and federated data learning and processing, etc. Next is the
global open data fabric, in which we see converged research resources, not only data themselves but
also other related research resources, such as models and algorithms, etc. Then the social community
comes as the next layer supported by software toolkits. Within this cloud federation, the virtual
community facilitates open collaboration, and open science and further, the applications at the top
layer make GOSC visible by the deployment of GOSC infrastructures with interdisciplinary showcases.
GOSC Initiative Overall Framework
So far, the CSTCloud federation has connected with some of her partners via EDUGAIN AAI membership.
An intercontinental testbed is under construction with three interdisciplinary show chases selected
for demonstration in the following years. Engagement in the ISC CODATA Decadal Program and the GO-FAIR
activities shall help the co-design of the policy framework to tackle possible legal barriers towards
The existing open science cloud/platforms around the world include but not limited to the followings:
European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and other European Open Science Initiatives, such as OpenAIR, etc.
African Open Science Platform (AOSP), and other pan-African research collaborations including
New Digital Research Infrastructure Organization (NDRIO) and Research Data Canada
National Research Infrastructure for Australia (ARDC)
Malaysian Open Science Cloud
RedCLAra and LA Referencia in Latin America
NIH Data Commons, xsede and other initiatives such as the call for National Research Cloud in the USA
COS(Center for Open Science), Open Science Data Cloud
The list below shows some of the ongoing activities related to the GOSC discussion: