Last July, the Secretary of State for Federal Science Policy, Thomas Dermine, and Belspo's President, Arnaud Vajda, signed a new 2022-2024 Strategic Plan for Federal Science Policy. Belnet has an important role to play in this, including as a facilitator of open science.
The purpose of the 2022-2024 Strategic Plan is to revitalise the Federal Science Policy, which includes Belnet and the 10 Federal Scientific Institutions (FSIs) in addition to the central administration. The plan contains 6 strategic objectives. The focus includes improving access to information and strengthening support for innovation and research.
The plan also aims to boost open science and open data, thus making research more accessible and encouraging the reuse of research data produced (principle of FAIR data).
Belnet will play a crucial role in its implementation, as the Belgian research and education network as well as the organisation mandated by the EOSC Association. Indeed, Belnet's mission is to develop service provision specifically tailored to the needs of researchers. In the future, innovation and co-creation will be central to this.
The plan further provides for an expansion and strengthening of Belnet's tasks, both for our R&E community and for the (federal) government. This embeds Belnet's strategic role with respect to the connectivity needs of the federal government as a whole (MAN and WAN networks). In addition, Belnet is actively looking at taking on the role of 'broker' for cybersecurity services. In that context, Belnet, along with the FPS Policy and Support, is currently conducting a spending review for cybersecurity.