Knowledge Exchange Workshop: Data strategies for research infrastructures

Venue: ESO Headquarters, Garching, Germany

Date: Thursday 19 February, 2015

Organiser: Tom Hancocks, BioMedBridges -

Chair: Rafael Jimenez, ELIXIR Chief Technical Officer

Key items from this workshop have been published in a report:

Suhr, S, Jimenez, R, Brooksbank, C, Newhouse, S, Hancocks, T (2015) Data strategies for research infrastructures doi:10.5281/zenodo.16413(link is external)

Workshop overview

Data is at the heart of modern science, and research infrastructures generate increasingly large amounts of it. Preserving complex data and/or making it available, accessible and discoverable for users requires robust plans to store, organise, integrate and, where applicable, distribute them. This knowledge exchange workshop is aimed at project managers and coordinators of research infrastructures, with the goal of helping participants to understand (1) the data challenges of their infrastructure, and (2) the data-related support needed by infrastructure users. A combination of presentations and breakout sessions will consider the many drivers that may influence the development of a data strategy for research infrastructures; including scientific and technical considerations, policy, financial costs, user needs, and ethical, legal & social aspects. Input from participants before the workshop will identify priority areas for discussion.


This workshop was aimed at project managers and coordinators of research infrastructures, with a particular focus on distributed infrastructures.

Workshop objectives

  • Develop a shared understanding of data-related requirements for research infrastructures
  • Appreciate how to support the data-related needs of their users
  • Identify appropriate elements to include in a robust data strategy and the factors that may influence this
  • Provide insight into the support that is available for managing large-scale data


Participants may benefit from reading the following material before the workshop:


09:00-09:15   Arrival and registration

09:15-09:20   Welcome and introductions (Tom Hancocks, BioMedBridges)
09:20-09:30   Introduction to the workshop (Stephanie Suhr, BioMedBridges)
09:30-09:50   Scientific & technical requirements (Rafael Jimenez, ELIXIR)
09:50-10:10   Financial requirements (Steven Newhouse, EMBL-EBI - TBC)
10:10-10:30   Formal requirements (Stephanie Suhr)
10:30-11:00   Data strategy examples:
   10:30-10:45  Strategies, Challenges and Prospect of Data Management at ESO (Michael F. Sterzik, ESO)
   10:45-11:00  Data Management and Standardisation in Distributed Systems Biology Research (Martin Golebiewski, Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies)
11:00-11:15   Break
11:15-12:30   Breakout session 1: Understanding your RI data management requirements
12:30-13:00   Report back and discussion
13:00-14:00   Lunch
14:00-15:00   Breakout session 2: Understanding the needs of data users
15:00-15:30   Report back and discussion
15:30-15:45   Break
15:45-16:45   Flash presentations (by workshop participants)
16:45-17:30   Wrap-up discussion
17:30             End of workshop