May 18, 2022

Neelie Kroes, VP of European Commission on “Open Access to Science and Data = Cash and Economic Bonanza”

On Tuesday, Neelie Kroes, the VP of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda for Europe spoke at the Berlin Open Access Conference.

The full text of her speech is available here.

Here Is Some of What Neelie Kroes She Had to Say

Now we have the Internet, the greatest tool for sharing information ever invented. The Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, 10 years ago, recognised just that. I quote: “The Internet has fundamentally changed the practical and economic realities of distributing scientific knowledge and cultural heritage.” And we need to make use of this change. Otherwise we are not doing justice to the power of digital, nor to the potential of science. And we would certainly not be doing justice to taxpayers – who, after all, pay the biggest part of the research bill and deserve to benefit as fully as possible.


The EU will be supporting open science through the whole programme. The rule will be open access to all publications that come out of it. We start with requiring open access to research data, too. And we are asking national funding bodies to do the same. That is our intention, as many of you know well.

Now it is about implementation.

How do we make that change? There are many areas to consider. From new tools and infrastructures. Resolving new technical issues, like accommodating text and data mining. To new and better ways of assessing the quality and impact of publications and other research results. Or how to preserve data for the long term. Most of all, it needs a new culture: of sharing and working together, between researchers, libraries, universities, publishers and, yes, all of us as citizens.

So here’s how we’re working on some of these issues.

On open access to publications, we have had a pilot underway since 2008. The lessons learned help us in implementing the new rules in Horizon 2020. For example, “Gold” open access fees may fall due after a project formally ends, so that any funding would have to be provided differently. We are coming up with ways to address this valid concern of researchers.

On research data, we will pilot ways to open this up under Horizon 2020 across a number of areas. To see how different disciplines deal with this issue in practice. How to further develop supporting infrastructure. And to understand the impact of limiting factors such as the need for security, privacy or data protection.


Digital tools also offer a huge opportunity for education – and much food for thought about the future of universities and higher education. Like MOOCs, Massive Open Online Courses, which allow people to learn anywhere, anytime and through any device.

Direct to Full Text of Speech

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.