The November issue of the European Projects News Bulletin was dedicated to the theme of Open Access and Open Data in scientific research. We all know that making research results more accessible to all societal actors contributes to better and more efficient science, as well as to innovation in both the public and private sectors. Yet, not all people involved in research activities know how to share information effectively. The objective in this edition was to contribute to the dissemination of European projects achievements and give voice to the very important topic of Open Science.

FOSTER - Facilitate Open Science Training for European Research project on free scientific information and researchers visibility

Eloy Rodrigues from the University of Minho, in Portugal, and project coordinator of FOSTER - Facilitate Open Science Training for European Research, was asked asked to share his experience on Open Science and Training. Eloy’s work focuses on the development of digital libraries, education and training of librarians and library users as well as on library management, and he is particularly active in promoting and advocating Open Science. In the interview he talked about the activities undertaken during the project and the objectives achieved so far.

The full interview is available here. We share some of its highlights on our news page:


Eloy, you are coordinating an EC-funded project FOSTER, acronym for Facilitate Open Science Training for European Research. Could you tell us briefly what it is about?

E.: FOSTER is about promoting and facilitating the adoption of Open Science in the context of European Research Area (ERA), and compliance with the open access policies set out in Horizon 2020 (H2020), by means of training and awareness raising. FOSTER aims to reach out and provide training to the wide range of disciplines and countries involved in the ERA, offering and supporting face-to-face and distance training, integrating open science in current research workflows by targeting young researchers and strengthening the institutional training capacity through a train-the-trainers approach.

Could you explain the origins of the project, and tell us who was initially involved?

E.: FOSTER results directly from the will to respond to a Call for Proposals from the Commission to support the H2020 open access requirements by providing training. Some persons and organizations that had already been working together in other open access related projects agreed to build a proposal for that call. Those initial partners that later became coordinators of the project work packages and members of the project steering committee (University of Minho, University of Gottingen, eIFL, Danish Technical University and Open University), discussed the general concept of the project and identified other organizations to be invited to the consortium. The overall consortium, involving 13 partners, was established quickly and in an early stage of the proposal preparation.

FOSTER project is trying to achieve very important results for the future of science and society in terms of open access to scientific data. So far, what are the most important goals achieved?

E.: FOSTER already has very relevant results, ranging from collecting and categorizing a significant set of training content, establishing an open science taxonomy, or defining learning objectives for each group of stakeholders, to developing the FOSTER Portal, gathering and providing access to training content, and supporting the creation of e-learning materials. However, I think the most relevant achievement of FOSTER so far is the impressive training programme on open access, open data and open science, we managed to establish and support in 2014 and 2015. This training programme has reached very diverse disciplinary communities and countries in the ERA. Up until now, around 3000 persons (majority of researchers, and especially young researchers) have participated in more than 100 FOSTER supported or organized training events in 20 European countries.

So far, what kind of feedback did you get from policy-makers, EU Institutions and the other stakeholders involved?

E.: We’ve been receiving very positive feedback from different stakeholders. FOSTER is being increasingly recognized and acknowledged by relevant individuals and organizations at disciplinary, institutional, national and European level. Most significantly, FOSTER has been involved in collaborations, support or organization of trainings on a scale much larger than initially anticipated. For instance, FOSTER responded positively to the invitation to train H2020 project officers, in two rounds of trainings (June 2014 and September 2015) with the participation of around 200 POs, even if this was not in our original Description of Work.

The project started in 2014 and will be ending at the beginning of 2016. How do you think your project will be able to benefit your audience in the long run? Do you already have a project follow-up strategy?

E.: Actually we applied for a 6 month project extension and it was granted, so the project will now end in July 2016. Anyway, I think the results from FOSTER, especially the FOSTER Portal, will be available, useful and used beyond the project duration due to the training content it already collects and provides access to, and with the e-learning courses currently being created. These are either moderated or self-learning and the first ones will be released during the Open Access Week in late October. We have already started discussing and working on the sustainability for the project results, and certainly one of the fundamental strategies is exploring the synergies and collaboration with other organizations and projects, like OpenAIRE. Considering that several FOSTER consortium members are also OpenAIRE partners, and the fact that OpenAIRE is committed to providing training and support to participants in H2020 funded projects, I think that OpenAIRE2020, which runs until the middle of 2018, is certainly one way to guarantee the longevity of FOSTER results.

To know more about the project, visit the website Contact person:
Eloy Rodrigues was interview by Cristina Marelli, project officer and editor of the Europa News Bulletin at EPA - European Project Association.

Continue to read the complete interview here

The European Projects News Bulletin is published by EPA - European Projects Association, Brussels, Belgium ( under Editorial Coordination of DINO BABIĆ AND CRISTINA MARELLI. This bulletin reaches more than 65.000 European Projects stakeholders worldwide.