The internationally utterly relevant iCORDI project started at 1. September 2012. For quite some time now we had debates at international level of how we can cope with the Data Tsunami, the huge increase of data volume and complexity which we are faced with in all scientific research disciplines and beyond. In the focus are aspects such as data management, data preservation and curation, access to data, interoperability across data objects and re-use of data. Since data will be the currency of future research and new insights it was obvious that we had enough talking about the challenges and opportunities and needed to come to concrete actions. This situation can be compared with the situation of the emerging Internet at the very beginning when experts got together under the IETF umbrella and pushed TCP/IP and other protocols and applications ahead which led to the boost of global interaction and collaboration.

Until now we lacked a type of organization for tackling data issues in a similar bottom-up manner as IETF did it so well for networking. Now some funding organizations (NSF, EC and Australian ministry) joined forces to found the Research Data Alliance (RDA). RDA is built on two global discussion circuits – Data Access and Interoperability Task Force (DAITF) as an initiative to get data practitioners together and Data Web Forum (DWF) which defined a balanced governance structure. For the European Commission the iCORDI project and here in particular Leif Laaksonen (CSC), John Wood (ASU) and Peter Wittenburg have the task to coordinate the RDA activities.

In fact iCORDI is built on 4 pillars: (1) Pushing RDA is a bottom-up driven global and cross-disciplinary initiative to overcome all kinds of barriers for sharing and using data. (2) Organizing a High Level Strategic Forum of top-level scientists and top-technologists to work out strategic visions for data sharing and using. (3) Foster some concrete international collaboration projects in specific scientific areas. (4) Organize workshops to include other promising initiatives in this work and to foster liaison with other international initiatives such as the G8+5 working group on data, COAR and CODATA.

Achieving progress in breaking barriers by this new RDA initiative will not be trivial and obviously progress can only be achieved stepwise. But first workshops as the ones in Copenhagen and the coming meetings in Munich and Washington will certainly be very important to show directions and make first steps.

For more information look at the temporary web-site: