Sharing in the era of big data - Science Node feature on the RDA 6th Plenary

The Science Node feature "Sharing in the era of big data" covers the developments and outcomes of the  RDA 6th Plenary held in Paris from 23 to 25 September. The event was co-organised by CapDigital and the RDA Europe project, coordinated by Trust-IT Services

The Research Data Alliance (RDA) is a global organization — supported by funding bodies in Europe, the US, and Australia — that has been established to improve data sharing for research. The organization describes itself as ‘building the social and technical bridges that enable open sharing of data’. Its vision is to help create a world in which researchers and innovators can openly share data across technologies, disciplines, and countries to address the grand challenges of society.
From 23 to 25 September, around 700 people — including IT specialists, researchers, educators, data practitioners, librarians, policy makers, and more — gathered in Paris, France, for the RDA Sixth Plenary Meeting. The organization itself has now grown to include over 3,300 members since its launch in 2013.
Building bridges between the public and private research sectors
Research is highly dependent on good data,” says Günther Oettinger, European commissioner for digital economy and society. “The growing availability of data is changing the way research is conducted and knowledge is shared.”Oettinger, who addressed the attendees in Paris via a recorded video message, went on to stress the importance of research data for the private sector. “There are strong links between science, data, and the economy. Our lives are now surrounded by data,” he says. “Building a data economy is a European priority. Companies mastering data and digital tools will have a competitive advantage.”Robert-Jan Smits, head of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Research and Innovation, also spoke at the event. Remarking on the event’s theme of ‘enterprise engagement’, he emphasized the importance of involving private companies in discussions around data sharing and preservation. “How to deal with sharing and long-term preservation of data is a big issue for all of us,” says Smits. “This becomes even more important in terms of addressing one of the greatest challenges of our generation: climate change.”
 Author: Andrew Purcell, Science Node European editor 
Publication date: 09 Oct 2015