"Germany is a developing country when it comes to information infrastructures. Government must not only coordinate the necessary swift and sustainable development, but also provide financial stimuli," said the President of the German Rectors' Conference (HRK), Prof Dr Horst Hippler, on the occasion of a HRK workshop on the future of research data management in Bonn.
In a joint statement, the approximately 50 participating university management representatives refer to research data as "a valuable asset with great potential for academia, society and industry". Its professional management and the implementation of appropriate infrastructures is an essential condition of excellent research, they add.
They set out their intention to prioritise the matter in the strategic agenda of their universities. This involves assuming responsibility for the reinforcement of "data culture" and for the development of service structures at the university.
At the same time, they note, it is necessary to cooperate within research data management beyond the boundaries of universities, federal states and Germany. The creation of comprehensive service structures as well as training and consulting services together with partners in the research system – for example, non-university research institutions – is essential. The statement suggests that a "National Research Data Infrastructure" (NFDI), as called for by the Council for Scientific Information Infrastructures, could provide a suitable framework for this.
Documentation of the meeting is provided at www.hrk.de (in German only).
Text of the statement (in German only)