RDA Europe 'exceeding expectations', says European Commission

It is not often that the review of a project states that said project has achieved considerably more than was expected at its inception. However, this was precisely the tenor of the European Commission’s second year review of Research Data Alliance Europe (RDA Europe) – a project in which the ACU has played a lead role in its activities, and which has made a significant global impact, especially around the grand challenges facing society.

Just over two years ago, three major regions (Europe, the USA and Australia) decided to collaborate on encouraging and developing the sharing of research data, both across disciplines and across national boundaries.

Owing to the ACU’s status and reputation for harnessing international linkages, I was appointed as Chair of RDA Europe. I was also appointed by the international community as one of two co-chairs of the global RDA Council. RDA Europe is one component of the global Research Data Alliance (RDA), which launched one year ago and now has well over 1,500 researchers collaborating together across 55 countries.

What does the global RDA do? The RDA builds the social and technical bridges that enable the open sharing of data. The RDA vision is one where researchers and innovators openly share data across technologies, disciplines, and countries to address the grand challenges of society. The sharing of data across barriers is facilitated through focused working groups and interest groups, formed of experts from around the world hailing from academia, industry and government.

Whilst the project is still young, the European Commission’s review of RDA Europe noted that, thus far, the project has ‘fully met its objectives and that its achievements in this regard are of very high quality’. It also added that ‘in organisational terms, as well as in concrete results, RDA Europe has clearly helped shape an international organisation [global RDA] that is beginning to exhibit strong structural characteristics, as well as an ability to produce results’.

Speaking of RDA Europe’s ‘extremely high’ impact, the report went on to say that ‘setting up a global RDA is of utmost importance and the project has not only strongly contributed to its positive evolution, it has also ensured a strong and even leading position for Europe in the international context’.

It is truly exciting being party of this exceptional bottom-up phenomenon and, by all accounts, the project has got off to a very encouraging start, but there is still plenty of work to be done. So what of the future? Several researchers in universities all across the Commonwealth are now taking part, and one of the duties of the RDA Secretary General is to work with existing funders to encourage other funding bodies in other parts of the world to support this invaluable enterprise. The ACU expects to continue to play a leading role in the RDA project over the next few years as the movement grows.

The European Commission’s review can be found here: https://www.acu.ac.uk/news-events/blog/rda-europe-european-commission-review 


Last modified on 05/01/2016
Tags: research, data