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The Research Data Alliance (RDA) Foundation is a non-profit charitable organisation registered as a legal entity in the UK and is the official and legal representative of the RDA community as a whole.

The RDA Foundation’s legal headquarters are at Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell Oxford, Didcot, Oxfordshire, OX11 0QX, United Kingdom.  The RDA Foundation is a charitable company limited by guarantee and not having share capital – company number 9021881. It was incorporated under a Memorandum of Association on 1 May 2014 and is governed with its Articles of Association1.  It is a registered charity, receiving charitable status on 21 July 2015 – charity number 1162762. 

The RDA Foundation provides the core business operations of the RDA representing the RDA globally. The RDA Secretary General works directly for the RDA Foundation and is the company CEO. 

Company Trustees

The Foundation is governed by its trustees who are also directors of the company and act as the Council for the RDA.  The RDA Council consists of nine members who serve rotating three-year terms, so that three members are appointed each year.

Financial Sustainability

The RDA grew significantly between 2013, the year of its inception, and 2020, but then faced challenges with limited income streams and the end of original seed funding   A new financial sustainability model was developed by the Financial Sustainability Task Force, set up in December 2020 by the RDA Council which investigated a series of different financial and business models.  The Taskforce carried out a series of activities and presentations, including an individual membership fee survey, to identify appropriate and achievable revenue models for the RDA, aligning financial plans with the strategic focus for 2021-2023 and engaging with regional offices and regional representatives to align revenue and business models.

A further Financial Sustainability activity, within the framework of the RDA Strategic Plan 2024-2028, will start in 2024.

Funding the RDA

The RDA Foundation receives funding through the following means:

Funding ModelHighlightDetailed Information
Regional MembershipNational organisations supporting Open Science and RDMValue of the RDA for Regions
Organisational MembershipGlobal organisations support RDA through an annual membership benefitting from Organisational member benefitsOrganisational Membership
SCOSS 5th Funding CycleGlobal organisations support open infrastructures. From 2024 – 2026 RDA has been selected for global supportRDA & SCOSS Funding
Plenary Meeting RevenueRDA Plenary meeting hosts assume financial risk for the event. In the event of a profit, RDA receives 5% of the net registration fee incomePlenary Meeting Guidelines
Engaging with the Private Sector / IndustryEnterprise, private sector and / or industry support independent facilitation of specific RDA Working GroupsValue of the RDA for Industry
GrantsAs a legal entity, the RDA can participate in publicly funded grant requests if they align with the RDA Guiding Principles

Financial Reports

View the RDA Foundation (Global) Public Financial Updates December 2021

View the RDA Foundation (Global) Public Financial Updates April 2021

View the RDA Foundation (Global) Public Financial Updates October 2019

  1. Farrer &Co.(2015): Articles of Association of Research Data Alliance Foundation. ↩︎