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14 September 2013 3786 reads

DATE:  September 16-18, 2013


National Academy of Sciences

2101 Constitution Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20418

Meeting Room: Auditorium (1st floor)


US-hosted meeting of international group facilitates data sharing across global and disciplinary boundaries

Is data the new gold? Data is valuable—properly shared, it can transform our lives in disaster management prediction, health care, and environmental stewardship. But unlike a commodity, data is not exhaustible. Data is the rich and growing renewable resource of the information age; good control over data translates into economic advantage. But like our most valuable natural resources, data must be used and managed with care.

Top leaders from the White House, international public bodies and global science agencies understand the importance of data; they are gathering at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, as part of a major meeting of the international Research Data Alliance  (RDA) to be held from 16-18 September 2013.

The RDA is supported by a $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation, as well as financial support of over €1.2 million from the European Commission and the Australian government. RDA was officially launched in March 2013in Gothenburg Sweden. Since that time, membership has grown to more than 850 international researchers and data experts from 51 countries who focus on the development and adoption of common tools, harmonized standards, and infrastructure needed for data sharing by practicing researchers, as well as the application of policy and best practice to facilitate data-driven research. RDA members work across dozens of disciplines to tackle data topics pertaining to global agricultural research and innovation, history and ethnography, human health, and others.

The meeting will include plenary and breakout sessions held at the National Academy of Sciences and the Washington Marriott from September 16 through 18, 2013. Highlights include:

Monday, September 16, 2013

  • 9:00 am—opening session chaired by Fran Berman, Co-chair RDA Council & Chair RDA/US, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute distinguished professor of computer science, welcome.
  • 9:05 am—speaker Farnam Jahanian, Asst. Director, NSF CISE, introduction & opening of Plenary.
  • 9:15 am—speaker Tom Kalil, Dep. Dir., Technology & Innovation, White House Office of Science & Technology Policy, on “Why does government care about data?”
  • 9:40 am—speaker John Wilbanks, Chief Commons  Officer, Sage Bionetworks, on “Why does data sharing matter to humanity?”
  • 10:05 am—speaker Carole Palmer, Prof., Graduate School, Library & Information Science, University of Illinois, on “How do we go about data sharing and what are the social structures necessary to succeed?”
  • 1:45 pm—Public sector session chaired by Chris Greer, Assoc. Dir., NIST Program Implementation. Building global partnerships: the perspective of funders & affiliate organizations.
  • 2:00 pm—Panelists Mark Suskin, Dep. Dir., Office  of Cyberinfrastructure, NSF; Kostas Glinos, European Commission; Clare McLaughlin, Australian Dept. of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research, & Tertiary Education. RDA Colloquium.
  • 2:45 pm—Affiliate organizations panel: Sara Graves, CODATA; Curt Tilmes, ESIP; Phil Archer, W3C; Jan Brase, DataCite
  • 4:00 pm—Technical Advisory Board session chaired by Larry Lannom,  Vice Pres. Corporation for National Research  Initiatives (CNRI). Technical Advisory Board & general technical collaboration.
  • 7:00 pm—Reception & poster session. Remarks: Tony Hey, Vice Pres., Microsoft Research Connections (sponsor)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Breakout sessions for RDA subgroups; discussions will include agricultural data, marine data, toxicogenomics interoperatibility, big data, and others.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Additional technical plenary sessions and breakout sessions.

To view the full program, please visit

Members of the media and the public are invited to public portions of the meeting. Interested members of the press who would like to attend, please contact enquiries[at]

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