Research Data Alliance (Europe) AISBL
In 2021, the need to create an European legal entity to support the RDA activities was identified. This organization, the Research Data Alliance Association, was founded as a non-profit international organization under Belgian Law (AISBL), with the overall goal to support the RDA activities in Europe, and to take a part in the global RDA development.
This Association is built on the strong commitment of the European member states, individuals, organisations, and the European Commission on the mission of the Research Data Alliance. Additionally, it draws from the rich history and successes of the European Union funded RDA projects, as well as the engaged National Networks in the region of Europe.
Since 2021, the Association has been engaged in building up its organisation and developing the initial work plan, as well as obtaining new initiatives and resources for its operation.
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See also: RDA Europe Gender Action Plan.
RDA Europe Strategic Priorities.
The Research Data Alliance (RDA) is a global initiative to build the social and technical infrastructure to enable open sharing and re-use of data. As the RDA has strong European level engagement and interest, RDA Europe was founded in 2021 in Belgium as a Non-profit organisation (Research Data Alliance Association AISBL) to foster and coordinate the RDA activity in the continental level in Europe.
The mission of RDA Europe is to “Inspire, cultivate and support European communities, organisations and individuals to develop and implement globally agreeable solutions to enable open sharing and re-use of data through the Research Data Alliance (RDA).” RDA Europe is governed by and operates according to the current Guiding Principles of the global Research Data Alliance, namely: Openness, Consensus, Inclusivity, Harmonization, Community-driven, and Nonprofit and technology-neutral.
RDA Europe is built on the strong commitment of the European member states, individuals, organisations, and the European Commission on the mission of the Research Data Alliance. It draws from the rich history and successes of the European Union funded RDA projects, as well as the engaged National Networks in the region of Europe. Since 2021, the RDA Europe has been engaged in building up its organisation and developing the initial work plan, as well as obtaining new initiatives and resources for its operation.
The strategy is divided to 3 goals, with long and overarching perspective, and 4 strategic priorities for the current time period.
Read the RDA Europe Strategic Plan.
RDA TIGER is a support services project for RDA Working Groups, coordinated by the RDA-A in Belgium. The project also includes contributions from CODATA, Netherlands eScienceCenter, and DANS. For the RDA members, this new project provides many potential support services:
For upcoming WGs, the project can provide help for forming the WG, such as finding WG members with new active global engagement and landscape analysis service, helping to disseminate WG ideas widely, practical help with case statement preparation, and output definition;
For ongoing WGs, the project can help with close facilitation and organization services, leading to much less workload on the WG members and chairs, who can concentrate more on providing their expertise. Other direct services include communication, writing and editing, and output development services, as well as providing limited grants for output testing, development, travel and even external consultancy services;
For ending and finished WGs, the RDA TIGER will provide help on last-mile development and writing, output finalization and adoption, guidance on potential standardization pathways and help with the (upcoming) RDA Maintenance Facility maintained by DANS in Netherlands.
Additionally, the Association and its Board of Trustees are currently developing the strategic plan of the Association, including activity and engagement plans, and a comprehensive membership suite for interested parties.
The RDA Association is currently involved in the below projects, all funded by the European Commission.
EOSC FUTURE is the main project currently developing the European Open Science Cloud initiative. The RDA has been particularly active in the RDA Calls preparation and development, as well as supporting the EOSC FUTURE-RDA connectivity.
WorldFAIR is an international project building interoperable set of 11 disciplinary and cross-disciplinary case studies to advance implementation of the FAIR principles and, in particular, to improve interoperability and reusability of digital research objects, including data. The RDA Association is mostly involved in the project in the communications and engagement activities, including building connectivity to relevant RDA Working and Interest Groups.
The WorldFAIR Communication Toolkit is available at https://worldfair-project.eu/communication-toolkit/.
FAIR-Impact works in creating practical implementation of the FAIR principles starting with integrated use cases on four scientific domains. The project will identify practices, policies, tools and technical specifications to guide researchers, repository managers, research performing organisations, policy makers and citizen scientists towards a FAIR data management cycle. See here for more on FAIR Impact and where RDA is active.
Staff and Contacts
RDA EU 3
RDA Europe is made up of twelve principal, representative organisations in Europe to drive forward RDA Europe objectives that are all grounded in technological excellence and innovation and have clear and international ties. Each of them bring to the table a proven track record in driving forward efforts around
RDA EU 4
About the project
RDA Europe 4.0 is the European plug-in to RDA and is mandated to ensure that European political, research, industrial and digital infrastructure stakeholders are aware of, engaged with and actively involved in the global RDA activities. Between 2018 and 2020 RDA Europe 4.0 supported growing the community of research data experts and practitioners by offering grants for early career researchers and experts, RDA ambassadors, and RDA output-adoption. In collaboration with a diverse range of national and regional stakeholders, the network of national nodes supported by RDA Europe 4.0 engage today with research communities, support national agendas, contribute to the EU Open Science Strategy, and aim to increase the uptake of standards and participation in RDA globally.
View RDA Europe Impact at a Glance
The RDA Europe 4.0 project has supported the mission and operation of RDA global, the engagement of the European community and the positioning of RDA in the EOSC landscape for the full duration of the project from March 2018 until September 2020.
The ambitious 33-month project was run by a consortium comprising 5 Partners and 9 Third Parties (the Pioneer National Nodes) all of which are domain skilled, complementary institutions and organisations that have been drivers of RDA in Europe since its launch in 2013.
- TRUST-IT SERVICES LIMITED (TRUST-IT)
- GEORG-AUGUST-UNIVERSITAT GOTTINGENSTIFTUNG OFFENTLICHEN RECHTS (UGOE)
- ROYAL IRISH ACADEMY (RIA)
- RESEARCH DATA ALLIANCE FOUNDATION (RDA FOUNDATION)
- THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH (UEDIN)
The pioneer nodes and their activities
Nine renowned research organisations representing excellence in the global scene were the initial foundations of a pan-European network of National Nodes. These represent areas such as Agro & Food, Bio & Health, Environment, Social Science and Humanities & Engineering. Each node has one or more national priorities or areas of focused activity to pursue that could influence their national digital agendas.
- RDA in Finland - CSC-Tieteen Tietotekniikan Keskus OY, CSC
- RDA in France - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CNRS
- RDA in Germany - Max Planck Computing and Data Facility, MPCDF
- RDA in Greece - Athena Research & Innovation Center in Information Communication & Knowledge Technologies, Athena RC
- RDA in Ireland - Digital Repository of Ireland, DRI
- RDA in Italy - Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, CNR-ISTI
- RDA in Netherlands - Data Archiving & Networked Services, DANS
- RDA in Spain - Barcelona Supercomputing Centre, BSC
- RDA in United Kingdom - Science & Technology Facilities Council, STFC
Athena, the Greek node, together with UK Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) provided Secretariat Support to RDA. BSC, the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre, supported Industry activities. The Italian node CNR-ISTI (National Research Council) provided editorial support for the Data Science Journal, while DANS, the Dutch Data Archiving and Networked Services acted as the RDA ambassador for the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) research communities. The Finnish IT Centre for Research (CSC - Tieteen Tietotekniikan Keskus), the German Max Planck Computing and Data Facility (MPCDF), the French CNRS (Centre National De La Recherche Scientifique), and the National Library of Ireland completed the initial network of nine pan-European Nodes.
The RDA Europe Nodes funded via RDA Europe 4.0 grants
An additional group of 13 National Nodes joined the network during 2019 via three open calls on the RDA Europe 4.0 Grants Platform.
- RDA in Austria
- RDA in Bulgaria - Sofia University, St. Kliment Ohridski
- RDA in Croatia - University of Zagreb, University Computing Centre
- RDA in Czech Republic - Plan4all
- RDA in Denmark - Danish e-Infrastructure Cooperation, DeiC
- RDA in Estonia - University of Tartu
- RDA in Hungary - Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Computer Sciences and Control, SZTAKI
- RDA in Lithuania - Kaunas University of Technology, KTU
- RDA in Norway - Norwegian Centre for Research Data, NSD
- RDA in Portugal - INESC TEC
- RDA in Romania - Executive Agency for Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation Funding, UEFISCDI
- RDA in Slovenia - SOCIAL SCIENCE DATA ARCHIVES, ADP
- RDA in Sweden - Swedish National Data Service, SND
The European Nodes facilitated the work of RDA in many ways. They promoted open calls for European participation in RDA events and initiatives, organised meetings and hands-on workshops to showcase RDA outputs to promote adoption, they contributed to lower language and cultural barriers.
RDA Europe 22 national nodes are key to realising the objective of consolidating a strong European research data community that enables common European contributions to the RDA work and governance, globally. Over the course of RDA Europe 4.0, the national nodes have been pursuing and piloting options for sustainability beyond the project period.
Early career and Experts programmes
RDA Europe managed a series of support programmes for data researchers and practitioners to facilitate participation of RDA Early Career Researchers and Experts to the RDA Plenary meetings, where to engage directly with RDA Working and Interest Groups, learn and contribute, and become a part of the RDA global data sharing community. European experts were sought to provide support to specific Working group maintenance or implementation. Four waves of calls were organised on the RDA Europe 4.0 Grants Platform, combined with RDA Plenary events.
The Ambassador Programme created a group of domain and technical experts that are well-established in the networks of their respective domains, who assisted RDA in more deeply penetrating new and consolidated domain networks across Europe, and in turn acted as conduits for improving project support activities. Two waves of calls were organised on the RDA Europe 4.0 Grants Platform in September-November 2018 and February – April 2019.
RDA Outputs Adoption programme
A cascading grant mechanism on the RDA Europe 4.0 Grants Platform was utilised to provide financial support for testing of RDA results and their integration with existing systems and workflows in research. Grants were given to organizations called to carry out small scale projects to demonstrate take-up of RDA’s outputs and ICT Technical Specifications. One unique wave was launched in 2019 which resulted in seven adoption projects demonstrating the practical approaches organisations can take when looking to implement the RDA’s Recommendations & Outputs.
RDA special collection in the CODATA data Science Journal
As part of the activities lead by the Italian Node, coordinated by CNR, the Italian national node, a continued call for papers for the Data Science Journal special collection was launched to give visibility to high quality papers describing the latest results of RDA working groups (WGs) or interest groups (IGs), including recommendation and associated use cases that could highlight the added value of RDA work in the data related fields. 30 articles.
RDA and EOSC
RDA is integrated with European open science and research data initiatives through several avenues of collaboration including community consultation, development of community-endorsed solutions, adoption of outputs, and co-organised activities at the global, European and national levels. RDA is bringing a number of contributions to the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) in the form of services as well as technical resources, all openly available across technologies, disciplines, and countries to address the grand challenges of society.
The Research Data Alliance provides a unique international forum in which data standards, sharing agreements, best practices, tools and infrastructure can be worked on collectively across geographic and disciplinary boundaries. RDA and EOSC share a common vision about reducing barriers to research data sharing, and within the EOSC context, the RDA has been identified as a key vehicle in implementing the EOSC and coordinating international activity within the EOSC workplan.
The RDA platform is being significantly leveraged in the creation of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). The Report on RDA integration with other European initiatives issued by RDA Europe 4.0 project describes the key finding from a survey conducted amongst 22 current, EOSC-related projects.
RDA Europe 4.0 collection on Zenodo