The National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) has the objective to systematically index, edit, interconnect and make available the valuable stock of data from science and research. So far, these data have mostly been available in a decentralized, project-related, or temporary form. The federation and the states will fund the NFDI jointly. Digital data storage is an indispensable prerequisite for treating new research issues, generating findings, and making innovations. The Joint Science Conference (GWK) has now decided to establish the NFDI Directorate in Karlsruhe and to entrust Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and FIZ Karlsruhe with the corresponding tasks in the complex foundation phase.
A central element of the NFDI will be consortia in which users and providers of research data interact with information infrastructure institutions. The NFDI will be a legal entity of its own and managed and coordinated by the Directorate and its office.
As regards the location of the Directorate, GWK Chairperson and Senator for Science, Health, and Consumer Protection of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen, Professor Dr. Eva Quante-Brandt, emphasizes: “GWK’s decision in favor of FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology is a decision in favor of a very strong place of information infrastructure. It is characterized by a wide scope of subjects and an excellent IT infrastructure with a high number of contacts on the national, European, and international levels. This is a good prerequisite for establishment of the NFDI Directorate in Karlsruhe.”
The Deputy Chairperson of the GWK, Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek, adds: “The NFDI is a decisive infrastructure for the digitization of science in Germany. It will open up entirely new opportunities to ensure permanent accessibility of the data for science. By combining existing data, for instance, it will be possible to tackle entirely new research aspects. With Karlsruhe, we selected a location at which data resources are converted into data treasures for science today already.”
“It is a good and highly reasonable decision to entrust the highly performing center in Karlsruhe with this important task. My congratulations to Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure. The decision in favor of Karlsruhe also is a result of the state’s successful e-science strategy and the establishment of four science data centers, also in Karlsruhe,” says Theresia Bauer, the State Minister for Science, Research, and the Arts.
“The decision in favor of Karlsruhe for the NFDI Directorate is a great success for KIT and FIZ Karlsruhe and again underscores that Karlsruhe is an outstanding IT location in Germany,” says Professor Holger Hanselka, President of KIT. “Availability of research data is the basis and prerequisite for scientific exchange that is needed to tackle the big global challenges and to work on solutions across borders and disciplines. The NFDI will make individual research data accessible to the entire science community.”
Professor Doris Wedlich, Head of the Biology, Chemistry, and Process Engineering Division of KIT, adds: “FIZ Karlsruhe and KIT stand for a long, successful strategic and operative collaboration between a Leibniz institute and a university and Helmholtz center.”
Sabine Brünger-Weilandt, President and CEO of FIZ Karlsruhe, underscores: “We are convinced that our partnership, which is the first of its kind in Germany, will ensure optimum support during the NFDI founding phase and provide an adequate scientific environment. We stand for a core concept of the NFDI, collaboration based on sharing work and design by users in research and academic education together with scientific infrastructure institutions.”
Both Doris Wedlich and Sabine Brünger-Weilandt are members of the German Council for Scientific Information Infrastructures. In June 2016, this council presented its position paper “Leistung aus Vielfalt” (Enhancing research data management: Performance through diversity) to GWK. This paper contains recommendations for research data management, among others establishment of an NFDI.
The Directorate will be located in the city center of Karlsruhe. The mandate of KIT and FIZ Karlsruhe will end as soon as the NFDI will be a legal entity of its own after extensive development work.
About FIZ Karlsruhe
FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure is a non-profit limited-liability company. As one of the big non-university infrastructure facilities in Germany, it has the public mission to provide science and research with scientific information and to develop the corresponding products and services. For this purpose, FIZ Karlsruhe opens up large amounts of data from various sources, develops and provides innovative information services and e-research solutions, and conducts own research projects. FIZ Karlsruhe is one of 95 institutions that form the Leibniz Association, conduct research, and provide scientific infrastructure.
Being “The Research University in the Helmholtz Association”, KIT creates and imparts knowledge for the society and the environment. It is the objective to make significant contributions to the global challenges in the fields of energy, mobility, and information. For this, about 9,300 employees cooperate in a broad range of disciplines in natural sciences, engineering sciences, economics, and the humanities and social sciences. KIT prepares its 24,400 students for responsible tasks in society, industry, and science by offering research-based study programs. Innovation efforts at KIT build a bridge between important scientific findings and their application for the benefit of society, economic prosperity, and the preservation of our natural basis of life. KIT is one of the German universities of excellence.