The Open Science Hub Network is an EU project which works towards promoting school-led community development through research and innovation. It has been operational since October 2019 and was funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation.
Open Science Hubs (OSHubs) have been created in eight countries as part of the project, mainly in communities that traditionally do not engage with research and innovation, whether due to geographical location, socio-economic status or ethnic minority group background.
OSHubs operate as mediators in each local community, where they support schools to become active agents for collaboration between families, universities, industry, local governments and civil society. The activities position schools as drivers for societal innovation and community well-being, by engaging in real-life projects where school and community needs are at the core of the collaborative projects undertaken.
As such, a local OSHub is composed by their local team, a local management board – which consists of different stakeholder groups that are involved in all key processes and decisions of the local OSHubs – and their partner schools, with whom they work closely and in a manner that is aligned with their needs and context. Moreover, each OSHub is rooted on their local challenges, which can be of different nature, depending on the local reality.
With the objective of ensuring common principles and processes, the OSHub.Network defined a common methodological approach, based on a social innovation model, that guides the OSHub teams to identify and define their value proposition, results, actors and stakeholders involved, as well as human and economic resources, towards impact and sustainability.
From this common road, varied tailored solutions emerged in each of the different OSHub locations and contexts. However, despite this diversity, we were able to identify several commonalities across the OSHubs, which allowed us to group them in three main categories:
OSHub teams work together with schools with the objective of facilitating the integration of Open Schooling in the school institutional structure and culture, namely by working together with teachers and school heads, so that in the future schools become fully autonomous.
These OSHubs are normally based in a physical space with equipment and resources that schools, generally, don’t have access to, and develop projects where schools create tangible solutions to community challenges through science, technology and fabrication techniques.
These OSHubs facilitate the establishment of new relationships and processes between schools and stakeholders that normally are not part of school’s daily-life, opening-up student’s horizons while contributing to the development of meaningful societal meaningful experiences.
To encourage usage and maximise impact in Europe and beyond, all resources, products and solutions developed by OSHub.Network are fully based on Open Standards, such as open education, open technology, open science, open hardware, open design and open architecture. These resources are published in the project website, however to ensure the legacy and reach of the project, all OSHub.Network resources have been / will also be shared on existing large online educational repositories, and relevant national networks and repositories (e.g. Scientix Network).
By the end of the project, OSHub.Network engaged directly 7 024 students in a total of 134 775 interactions, 449 teachers in a total of 5 918 interactions, and 9 804 community members in a total of 10 552 interactions, through involvement in more than 120 school-university-industry-civil society partnerships in open schooling projects and activities.
Concerning the impact on the learners, students reported to have improved the most on creative and scientific skills and we also observed an increase in students' involvement in extracurricular scientific activities. In addition, teachers reported students developing multiple skills that reinforce one another through their scientific projects. Altogether, these results suggest that students understand and find the importance of science within their lives.
Are you a student, teacher, school head,
and you would like your school to be part of the OSHub Network, contributing to the development, innovation and well-being of your community?
and you would like to join your local OSHub and help co-creating this project with your local community?
and you would like to join us in this venture to co-develop school-led projects to tackle local relevant challenges?
and you would like to work together with us to co-create a strategy to support schools to become agents of transformation in your community?
Please send an email to
Project Manager OSHub.Network, Leiden University