The current pandemic showcases the importance of cooperative science: In order to understand the global implications of Covid-19 for physical and mental health, for the economy, the climate, and traffic, different disciplines have to join their research efforts.
In order to do so, scientists need access to data that is freely available and has as much consistency in formatting as possible. At the same time, it is essential to store data securely in order to prevent misuse or unwanted publication. The development of a German National Research Data Infrastructure, NFDI in short, is supposed to manage these tasks. Among their key tasks will be the systematic organization of data according to the FAIR data principle: They have to be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable. In 2016, the German Council for Scientific Information Infrastructures recommended setting up such an infrastructure. The project was then initiated by the Joint Science Conference (GWK). Federal and state governments in Germany will invest up to 90 million Euro annually into the ambitious project over the course of ten years.
NFDI at U Bremen Research Alliance
In order to reach the ambitious goal of a common national infrastructure for research data of all disciplines, so-called consortia were formed in a first step. They are unions of universities, extramural research institutes, and other players. Next to the aforementioned securing and processing of research data, it is their task to connect and network with international initiatives such as the European Open Science Cloud. Scientists from the U Bremen Research Alliance are collaborators in four of the first nine consortia:
These cover the fields of biodiversity research, health, engineering, and social, behavioral, and educational sciences as well as economics.