iCordi (RDAEurope ): International Collaboration on Research Data Infrastructure (Research Data Alliance Europe)


Over the 10 years prior to the initiation on this project, significant investments had been made in both the European Union and the USA for developing scientific data infrastructures to support the work of research communities, and in improving shared access to data. On both sides of the Atlantic, there is a shared understanding that solutions must be global and that the development of an integrated and interoperable data domain can only be achieved through increased global collaboration.

iCORDI aimed to be the premier global forum driving convergence between emerging global data infrastructures, with a particular focus on EU-US links. Its prime objective was to establish an EU-US coordination platform to improve the interoperability of today’s and tomorrow’s scientific data infrastructures on both continents. By coordination platform, we mean a vehicle capable of: a) fostering discussion between relevant stakeholders in the EU and US over concrete topics related to the interoperability of the data architectures and solutions based on a top-down approach; b) overcoming the identified challenges and turning the areas of convergence into concrete specifications that can be immediately implemented on both continents by bringing data practitioners together in a bottom-up process; c) demonstrating through concrete collaboration examples what works and what are the remaining barriers and challenges to be tackled to achieve full interoperability.

This coordination platform has made an important contribution to the development of policy in both the EU and the USA for the management and curation of scientific data that can lead to a common policy driving the development of a wider global infrastructure. This platform was driven by a High Level Strategic Forum (HLSF) comprising delegates involved in setting policy and strategy in the management and curation of data from the EU, the US, and beyond who came together to make strategic recommendations to foster the convergence of data integration, interoperability and infrastructures.

The platform was supported by three key programmes: a) an analysis programme devoted to analyze data organization techniques and solutions as they emerged from the various scientific communities, looking for commonalities and abstractions that can motivate common approaches; b) a prototype programme to coordinate activities between important EU and US projects and communities by performing a series of cross-infrastructure experiments on EU-US interoperability with a selected group of communities; and c) a workshop programme aimed at investigating the convergence of data infrastructure reaching out to additional communities. The three programmes  feed the platform with input from “grass-roots” driven activities whose results were collected and combined into the HLSF and DAITF processes.