(Published on 27.12.2022) 2022 brought expansion, further development and strengthening for NFDI. In the second year of the association, the first four sections took off, the consortia successfully launched Base4NFDI, the third-party funded project Data Literacy started and NFDI formed connections with other relevant actors. Overall, a very positive balance can be drawn. We present the biggest highlights and cuts of the NFDI year 2022 here.

 

Network building: In 2022, NFDI focused on both strengthening the existing network and building connections with other relevant actors. The consortia and NFDI organised numerous events: Over 130 publicly accessible events were listed in our NFDI calendar throughout the year.

Particularly noteworthy are the first exchange with the Federation of German Industries (BDI) and the second Parliamentary Event, where politicians from the German Bundestag were invited to engage in dialogue about NFDI. Just a few weeks ago, the German edition of the EOSC Tripartite Event took place, which NFDI organised for the first time as a mandated member of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC).

Internally, NFDI held its annual general meeting in October, which was characterised by a large attendance and consensus in the elections. The consortium assembly met four times in 2022. Together, the position paper: right to data access for public research creates additional value for society was adopted at the end of October.

 

Sections: In cross-disciplinary teams, the association sections advanced cross-cutting issues. The first four sections, Common Infrastructures, Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects, (Meta)data, Terminologies, Provenance, and Training and Education, initially set up their members in 2022. Parallel to the election of speakers and the registration of participants, work on the content intensified in the spring. In May, the Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects Section published its first statement on the EU Data Act and thus became visible at the international level. Only one month later, another statement followed at the EU level from the sections “Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects”, “Common Infrastructures” and “(Meta)data, Terminologies, Provenance”.

 

Basic services and consortia: The funding commitment for Base4NFDI is the result of a joint working process of the consortia. In January, the consortium meeting decided without opposed votes to publish a joint statement on the topic of basic services. The core statement: The creation and operation of basic services should be driven by the needs of the NFDI community. In this regard, they should be closely interlinked with the NFDI Association and the Sections as a place for cross-consortium work.
By the end of April, a completed Base4NFDI application with the participation of all 19 already funded consortia had already been submitted to the German Research Foundation (DFG). Following a funding recommendation, the Joint Science Conference (GWK) decided to fund Base4NFDI at the beginning of November. At the same time, seven other consortia received their funding approval. FAIRagroNFDI4BIOIMAGENFDI4EnergyNFDI4ImmunoNFDI4MemoryNFDI4Objects and NFDIxCS will be fully integrated into the NFDI structure from March 2023.

 

Third-party funded projects: In 2022, the third-party funded project “Data Literacy in NFDI” was launched. The aim of the project is to bundle existing offers in an overview, analyse needs and develop solutions. With better data competence in science, the foundation for sustainable research data management is to be established. There will be a first community workshop right at the beginning of the new year.
“Data literacy in NFDI” is already the second third-party funded project of NFDI. The FAIR Data Spaces project, which combines Gaia-X and NFDI to create a FAIR Data Space, celebrated its birthday in May.

 

Science in times of crisis: Current crises such as the Ukraine war and the Corona pandemic have not left the NFDI network untouched.
NFDI has supported the Saving Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Online (SUCHO) project. In addition, consortia and numerous participating institutions have been actively engaged in helping colleagues in Ukraine.
NFDI is convinced that research data and excellent handling of it can help us to better cope with problems. We can respond better to existential crises such as species extinction, climate change or the Corona pandemic if we know the facts and understand the connections.
In view of the current political and societal challenges, we are glad that we can continue to follow the road to effective research data management in the coming year with the consortia of the third round.

 

We look forward to 2023 – to change, growth, further development and many more great contacts!

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