RDA's 20th Plenary - Speakers and Panels

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04 March 2023 587 reads

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Opening Plenary Session 21 March 08:00 - 09:30 UTC | 09:00 - 10:30 Sweden

Welcome to RDA P20 

The RDA is now turning 10 years old as a community-driven initiative with a mission to build the social and technical bridges that enable open sharing and re-use of data for the benefit of research. What have been the main contributions to younger researchers, data infrastructures and research performing organisations? After a Welcome to the Anniversary Plenary, three reflections and examples from these three perspectives will be presented.


Hilary Hanahoe, RDA Secretary General

Hilary is the Secretary General of the global Research Data Alliance. Her responsibilities include leadership of RDA’s membership, effective management of the RDA organization, engagement with RDA stakeholders and organizations, and sustainable stewardship of this dynamic, active, and high-impact community. Read more.


Lars Börjesson, Chalmers University of Technology
Natasha Simons, Associate Director, Data & Services, Australian Research Data Commons

Natasha Simons is Associate Director, Data & Services, with the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC). Based in Brisbane, Australia, Natasha drives national-scale initiatives and projects that build world class data infrastructure for researchers and that contribute to the ARDC’s new strategic approach of building thematic research data commons. She collaborates internationally, particularly through the Research Data Alliance, to solve common challenges and improve data infrastructure, policies, skills, and practices.



Madiareni Sulaiman, Research Data Librarian, National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIMN), Indonesia

Madiareni Sulaiman is a Research Data Librarian at the National Agency for Research and Innovation (BRIN), Indonesia. She is particularly interested in how RDM can support open science. She manages the Indonesian National Scientific Repository and has extensive experience providing research support for various research projects. She represents Indonesia on the UNESCO Open Science WG and is one of the 22 International Fellows for Emerging International Voices, a Goethe-Institut and IFLA joint-program for young information professionals. She is currently a PhD student at University College London, UK, and can be reached through Twitter and LinkedIn.


Wilhelm Widmark, Library Director, Stockholm University

Wilhelm Widmark is the Library Director of Stockholm University since 2012. Since 2020 he is also Senior Adviser for Open Science to the President of Stockholm University. He has a Master of Arts in Literature and a Master of Arts in Library and information science from Uppsala University. Wilhelm is active in the Open Science movement in Sweden and Europe. He is the Vice-Chairman of the Swedish Bibsam consortia and a member of the Swedish Rectors conference Open Science group. He is also a member of EUAs Expert Group on Open Science and one of the Directors of EOSC Association.


RDA Plenary Session 21 March 10:00 - 11:00 UTC | 11:00 - 12:00 Sweden

Building RDA for the Future - Celebrating 10 years of the RDA

What will the next 5-10 years hold for RDA? With a lens on the past 10 years of RDA and the (r)evolution of the research data ecosystem through contributions from some founding RDA members & funders, and a telescope to the future from Early career and doctorate students, how can and should RDA remain relevant and valuable to its stakeholders?

Moderator: Sandra Collins, University Librarian, University College Dublin (UCD) & RDA Council

Dr Sandra Collins is the University Librarian at University College Dublin. Originally a mathematician, she has worked in digital innovation and cultural heritage over 25 years in the public and private sectors. She was previously the Director of the National Library of Ireland, the founding Director of the Digital Repository of Ireland in the Royal Irish Academy, a Scientific Programme Manager in Science Foundation Ireland, a Master Engineer in Ericsson Telecommunications, and a Mathematics lecturer in Dublin City University. She is the Chair of the Consortium of National and University Libraries (CONUL), a member of the Irish Government’s Expert Advisory Group for Commemorations and the Advisory Forum to the Irish Government’s National Conversation on Research, the Board of the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI), and the Council of the Research Data Alliance (RDA). She has served on a number of European Commission Expert Advisory Groups including FAIR data and Research Infrastructures.



Kathryn Barker, Community Development Manager, Australian Research Data Alliance

As RDA Community Development Manager in Australia, Kathryn coordinates global RDA engagement with a focus on growing the RDA community in the Oceania region, in collaboration with the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC). Kathryn completed her PhD in marine biogeochemistry and satellite remote sensing at the University of Plymouth, UK and has an academic background in oceanography, marine biology and environmental sciences. After finishing her PhD, Kathryn worked in industry as a project manager and engineer on large-scale applied Earth Observation research and data services projects for the European Space Agency and the European Union. In Australia, Kathryn has diversified her expertise into the data sciences and computational domains with a focus on research data management and project management.

Beth Plale, Director, Data to Insight Center, Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, Indiana University & RDA Technical Advisory Board founding co-chair

Dr. Beth Plale is the Michael A and Laurie Burns Professor of Computer Engineering in the Department of Intelligent Systems Engineering at Indiana University Bloomington (IU).  Plale serves as the Executive Director of the Pervasive Technology Institute and Director of the Data To Insight Center. Plale’s driving research motivation is responsible use and creation of data and software in research.  Her specific research interests include computational cyberinfrastructure, open science, provenance & reproducibility, AI ethics and accountability. Plale served at the US National Science Foundation (NSF) in a policy position on open science (2017 -2020). Dr. Plale’s postdoctoral studies were at the Georgia Institute of Technology and her PhD is in computer science from the Watson School of Engineering at the State University of New York Binghamton. 


Connie Clare, RDA Community Development Manager, RDA Foundation

Connie is the RDA Foundation Community Development Manager responsible for managing engagement with the global RDA community and facilitating its growth. Through coordinating various community activities she aims to enable the harmonisation and alignment of RDA group efforts, and promote the cross-fertilisation of knowledge, experience and best practices among community members. Connie completed her PhD in Developmental Biology at the University of Nottingham in the UK. During her doctoral studies, Connie undertook a science communication internship working with Data Stewards and Data Champions at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands where she became passionate about raising awareness about the importance of research data management and Open Science. Before joining the RDA, Connie worked as the Community Manager at 4TU.ResearchData, an international data repository for science, engineering and design disciplines.

Julia Gehrmann, PhD student/ Scientific Associate at University of Cologne and University Hospital Cologne, Institute for Biomedical Informatics (BI-K)

Julia is a research associate and soon-to-be PhD student at the Institute for Biomedical Informatics Cologne (BI-K). Her daily work on data science projects in the oncology domain reveals significant challenges of reusing medical real-world data from primary healthcare for research. In her master thesis at BI-K she systematically examined these challenges last year. She studied Computer Science with Biology as a minor subject at RWTH Aachen University. During her studies she gathered practical experience in research at University Hospital Aachen, Fraunhofer FIT and as a team leader in the iGEM student competition. She recently joined the RDA as a member and is keenly looking forward to the upcoming developments.


Ross Wilkinson - RDA Founding Council Member (ex Australian National Data Service)

Dr. Ross Wilkinson was the executive director of the Australian National Data Service, dedicated to enabling more researchers re-use data more often. His research career commenced with his Ph. D. in mathematics at Monash University before researching in computer science at La Trobe University, R.M.I.T. and at CSIRO. Some of his areas of research have been document retrieval effectiveness, structured documents retrieval, and most recently on technologies that support people to interact with their information environments. He has published over 90 research papers, has served on many program committees and was a program co-chair for both SIGIR’96 and SIGIR’98. He was a member of the original organising committee to establish the RDA and then a member of Council from it’s foundation.

John Wood - RDA Founding Council Member & Chair of Riding the Wave

John is a retired materials scientist. He held a number of academic positions including his last post as Principal of Engineering at Imperial College, London. For a period he was chief executive of the central laboratories of the UK Research Councils. He was a founder and second chair of the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures responsible for the first European Roadmap. He then became chair of the European Research Area Board. He was then asked by the European Commission to chair the group that produced the "Riding the Wave" and subsequently the "Data Harvest" reports that led to the formation of the Research Data Alliance of which he was co-founder and co-chair. He is currently chair of the ATTRACT advisory board based at CERN.

RDA Plenary Session 21 March 12:00 - 12:55 UTC | 13:00 - 13:55 Sweden

Building Institutional Partnerships for the Future

It is very important that government agencies make their decisions based on high quality data and data-driven research. In Latin America and Spain, one of the RDA regional nodes has direct experience of doing this. La Referencia as an Ibero-American (Latin America, Spain and Portugal) network of open access repositories promoting the articulation of “policies and actions in open science, in order to create an ecosystem of open scientific information in the region as a public good, led by the organisms of science and technology”.  The Speakers will share their experience working with government institutions of Science, Technology and Innovation as best practice for the RDA on how to improve its articulation with the public sector and policy makers.


Eva María Méndez Rodríguez, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain

She is Deputy Vice-Rector for Scientific Policy of the University. Professor of the Department of Library Science and Documentation




Federico Cetrangolo, Administration Manager, LA Referencia

Federico Centragolo, Master, graduate in Economics (Universidad de Buenos Aires) and Master's in Administration and Public Policies (Universidad de San Andrés). He has experience in public management, having worked in the Directorate of Analysis of Public Expenditure and Social Programs of the Ministry of Economy of the Argentine Republic and in the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of the Argentine Republic. He was Provincial Director in the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Province of Buenos Aires and National Director of Investment Promotion in the Argentine Chancellery. He currently works as Administration Manager at LA Referencia.


Freddy Sumba, Computer Systems Engineer, CEDIA

Computer Systems Engineer who works in the I+D+i department at CEDIA. He is dedicated to creating technological products and services. Since 2015, he has been working on the implementation of the Ecuadorian researcher repository and the network of open-access repositories in Ecuador. Currently, he is involved in developing public policies for open science in Ecuador and implementing scientific data repositories in Ecuadorian universities.


Javier Valdiviezo, Academic and Continuing Education Coordinator, Global Association for the Smart Home Technology

Javier Valdiviezo, PhD, Systems Engineer, Specialist in GIS (Georeferenced Information Systems) with a Master's Degree in Tics applied to Elearning and in teaching-learning environments mediated by digital technologies (University of Barcelona) and in Elearning in the Caribbean University of Curazao. Currently Academic and Continuing Education Coordinator of the Global Association for the Smart Home Technology (CEDIA). Active Member of the World Association of Virtual Tutors. Invited by NASA for the Lucy Space Probe Launch Program, an organization with which he has been a lecturer and co-author in various publications. Academic advisor in Methodologies for the use of space technology for risk prevention. Academic Coordinator of the Ecuadorian Space Agency. Professor and Director of Technology of the PYDLOS Project at the Research Institute of the University of Cuenca. Professor at the University of Azuay. National Academic Coordinator and Dean of the Faculty of Technological Management of the Universidad del Pacífico. Director of Technology of the UNAE. Technology Advisor.


RDA Plenary Session 22 March 14:30 - 16:00 UTC | 15:30 - 17:00 Sweden

Building Industrial Partnerships for the Future 

This session will set the scene for the new framework "The Value of the Research Data Alliance to Industry'' released in December 2022. Speakers will share and discuss the possibilities and impacts that an accelerated partnership between RDA and industry can have on the global data community. We will highlight common challenges across sectors, as well as complementing competencies and capabilities that we can harness in partnerships for the future.


Monica Lassi, Senior Data Governance Specialist, IKEA

Monica Lassi, PhD, works as senior data governance specialist at IKEA within Enterprise Data Management. She has a background as senior advisor to top management at Swedish universities, and to national and international digital infrastructure organisations. Monica Lassi received her PhD in Library and Information science from Gothenburg University, Sweden, exploring a socio-technical approach for designing digital infrastructures for facilitating new practices for data sharing. On the European level, Monica Lassi has worked in development and infrastructure projects including the NeIC-coordinated projects Puhuri, and EOSC Nordic, as well as environment and ecosystem focused projects such as ENVRIPlus. Further, she took part in formulating the bylaws for the EOSC Association upon its formation. Nationally, Monica Lassi contributed to work leading up to the Swedish government official investigation of the organisation, management, and funding of research infrastructure. During her time in academia, she formed and led a national grassroots network, gathering members from many different professions, perspectives, and organisations into a highly valued national collaboration for sharing and discussing ideas, learning with and from each other across boundaries, and acting as a sounding board for projects related to digital infrastructure for data management and research. Monica Lassi’s expertise lies in the intersections between the technical, organisational, and human aspects of the formation and transformation of e-infrastructures and data management practices.

Richard Pitts, Senior Principal Research Advocate EMEA, Oracle for Research

Originally an environmental biologist and after 27 years at Oracle, arrived 2 years ago at what he describes as his dream Oracle job. In becoming the Senior Oracle for Research European Advocate, it allows him to combine all his passions; an interest in wide range of scientific areas; “STEAM” in society and Open source & Oracle technology to assist in solving research problems and issues. His own research work ranged from the influence of environment on Polymorphic Genes, IUCN funded environmental studies in Saudi Arabia and Africa. He first met the Oracle Database, 1985, in a real time chemical production management. Joining Oracle support in 1996 he rose to be a “Top Gun” and member of the Bug Diagnosis and Escalation team, as well as the Global Lead for Oracle Spatial and Graph. Richard has been customer facing for the last 10 years leading, as a cloud Architect, many customer engagements employing a wide range Oracle and Cloud Native technologies. He also found time since 2018 to promote University/Industry cross over for HPC and subsequently contributing and promoting to Oracle for Research projects. Oracle for Research Projects in Europe nurtured by Richard range from medical, SARS-COVID2 spike research, computer science, applied AI and ML, fundamental black hole research to Biodiversity projects.


Mimmi Sundler, Head of R&D Data & AI Governance & Policy, Astra Zeneca

Mimmi Sundler joined AstraZeneca 8 years and is currently Head of R&D Data & AI Governance & Policy within Data Office, Data Science & Artificial Intelligence at AstraZeneca. Her team is responsible for data governance and shaping and implementing data use & data sharing policies that balances data value and data risk, taking in consideration data privacy, data sharing ethics and legal governance. Prior to joining AstraZeneca in 2015, Mimmi spent 5 years in Management Consultancy within the Medical / Healthcare industry and prior to this Mimmi worked as a scientist at Pfizer within pharmaceutical and medical device development.


Henric Rhedin, Director External Research & Exploration Coordination, Volvo Cars

Henric Rhedin is working at Volvo Cars AB with initiation and coordination of external research and exploration. In particular his focus is on digitalization but also intellectual property dimensions across all areas. Before joining Volvo Cars he has been working with research and innovation in a number of disciplines and in various roles both in academia and industry. Henric has been a board member of several Swedish and international companies and organizations over the last 10 years.


Dan Nygren, Education Lead, Nordics and Baltics, Amazon Web Services

With a background in computer engineering, Dan has a history of working in early startups, small and medium sized companies and as of the last four years with AWS. The past decade Dan has focused on how agile methodologies and cloud services can be applied to drive innovation, quality of delivery, and pace of research further, and finding pragmatic sustainable ways to work with data policy and security. He has served the Higher Education and Research community in Northern Europe in different roles for the past 15 years, supporting the adoption of online education in general (and PBL and Flipped Classroom methods specifically), several innovation projects, as well as supporting research initiatives and projects. Some of the contributions outside of his role at AWS has been a contributing member to the Higher Education AI Digital Student Assistant project in Sweden, a working group contributor to the Swedish Government Collaboration Program for Competence Supply and Lifelong Learning, and vocal champion for inclusive education models.


RDA Plenary Session 22 March 16:00 - 17:00 UTC | 17:00 - 18:00 Sweden

Building the RDA Community for the Future

This interactive session focuses on the RDA community - our individual, organisational and regional members - inviting them to help us shape the RDA Strategic Plan for the next five years (2024-2028). As a community driven initiative RDA will focus its strategy and resources on areas of value and interest to the global research data landscape.


Jill Benn, University Librarian, University of Western Australia, RDA Council Co-chair

Jill Benn has significant experience in the leadership and delivery of library services in the higher education environment. She is currently the University Librarian at the University of Western Australia (UWA), a research intensive university and a member of the Group of Eight Australian universities. Jill’s role requires the direction of 100 library staff spread over six physical locations, who successfully provide a range of library services to over 1,500 academic staff and 25,000 students. Jill is highly engaged and active within the profession nationally and internationally. She is currently serving as Chair for the Council of Australian University Librarians , on the Council of Research Data Alliance, as a Board Member of the International Association of University Libraries, as well as a number of library advisory boards and committees. She was awarded the silver pin for service to the profession by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) in 2011. Her expertise has been recognised through invitations to present at national and international conferences and she has demonstrated reflective practice through a number of publications.

Ingrid Dillo, Deputy Director, DANS, RDA Council Co-chair

Dr Ingrid Dillo is Deputy Director at DANS (Data Archiving and Networked Services) in the Netherlands. She holds a PhD in history and has worked in the field of policy development for the last 30 years, including as senior policy advisor at the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the National Library of the Netherlands (KB). Among her areas of expertise are research data management and the certification of digital repositories. Ingrid is co-chair of the Research Data Alliance (RDA) Council and a member of the Boards of Directors of CoreTrustSeal and DataCite. Ingrid led the EU-funded FAIRsFAIR project and is now the coordinator of the Horizon Europe project FAIR-IMPACT. She is also a member of the EOSC Task Force on Long term Data Preservation.


Hilary Hanahoe, RDA Secretary General

Hilary is the Secretary General of the global Research Data Alliance. Her responsibilities include leadership of RDA’s membership, effective management of the RDA organization, engagement with RDA stakeholders and organizations, and sustainable stewardship of this dynamic, active, and high-impact community. Read more.




RDA Plenary Session 23 March 08:00 - 09:30 UTC | 09:00 - 10:30 Sweden

Building Platform Partnerships for the Future  

Seamless interoperability between data, software and high performance computing is the vision for future science. Such general interoperability remains elusive. Several disciplinary or regional solutions combining these aspects have however been built, and learning on their processes, interfaces, and organisation can provide hints on moving towards more general interoperability. This session presents and discusses the lessons learned from such endeavours.

Moderator: Ari Asmi, Director RDA Association (Europe)

Ari has a background in climate science, working in the interface between atmospheric observations and climate models. After his doctorate, he started to work on more interoperable observational data development, and he also became an active member of the rapidly developing Research Data Alliance. He has been involved in the core team developing the ENVRI community of European environmental research infrastructures, being part of direction of the major cluster projects ENVRI PLUS and ENVRI FAIR, as well as participating in different roles in several other European Commission funded projects particularly in connection to EOSC. In addition to his pan-European and domain specific skills, Ari has significant knowledge of national level Open Science environments and the research data management challenges faced by Research Performing Organisations (RPOs). Since 2022, he has led the Research Data Alliance Association (Europe), and starting 2023, coordinates RDA TIGER project.


Deliang Chen

Deliang Chen is the August Röhss Chair in Physical Geography towards Geoinformatics at the University of Gothenburg. His research includes Earth System Science and global environmental change, climate dynamics and modeling, and atmospheric circulation. Deliang is an elected Member of six Academies in the world and chaired the Geoscience class of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He has served on numerous international and national committees and boards, as well as advised various governmental, intergovernmental, and international non-governmental bodies including funding agencies. During 2009 and 2012 he served as the Executive Director of the International Science Council (ISC) which is a voice for global science. Under his tenure at ISC the World Data System was established. He also acts as a Coordinating Lead Author in Working Group I of the IPCC’s sixth assessment report. Recently, he was awarded the H. M. The King's Medal for his outstanding contributions to Swedish and international climate research.

Tshiamo Motshegwa

Dr Motshegwa is the incoming inaugural Director of the African Open Science Platform (AOSP) with the strategic portfolio to direct and support the AOSP. AOSP aims to position African scientists at the cutting edge of data intensive science by stimulating interactivity and creating opportunity through the development of efficiencies of scale, building critical mass through shared capacities, amplifying impact through a commonality of purpose and voice, and to engage in Global Commons to address continental and global challenges through joint action. Globally, he is a member of the Open Science Clouds Executives Roundtable (OSCER) that promotes collaboration through Open Science in practice toward optimal global interoperability.


Dirk Pleiter

Dirk Pleiter is a professor of high-performance computing at the Division of Computational Science and Technology at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm since January 2021. He joined Juelich Supercomputing Center (JSC)  in April 2011 and was appointed professor at the University of Regensburg in parallel. At JSC, he has built up a research team on “Application-oriented technology development” and in this role, he was involved in various European projects, which mostly focussed on co-design of future HPC architectures and technologies, but also closely worked with different computational science communities. He pursues collaborations with HPC solutions providers with in recent years a focus on Arm-based technologies. He also played a leading role in projects working on future HPC-based infrastructures, like PPI4HPC, the first joint procurement of HPC systems in Europe, and Fenix, an effort of various European supercomputing centers to create a federated collection of e-infrastructure services.

Mikiko Tanifuji

Mikiko Tanifuji, a Project Researcher at Research Center for Open Science and Data Platform atNational Institute of Informatics, Tokyo since November 2022. Formerly, she was a Managing Director of Materials Data Platform Center at National Institute for Materials Science, the center developed a materials data platform DICE in 2020, and the 2nd generation of DICE has just released in January in public cloud for materials scientists in Japan. She is also developed a profile service in 2009, which is now generated by research papers by using NLP algorithm, with over million accesses in a year in the world.


RDA Closing Plenary Session 23 March 14:30 - 15:30 UTC | 15:30 - 16:30 Sweden

Fran Berman

Dr. Francine Berman is the Edward P. Hamilton Distinguished Professor in Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is a Fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) and a Fellow of the IEEE. In 2009, Berman was the inaugural recipient of the ACM/IEEE-CS Ken Kennedy Award for "influential leadership in the design, development, and deployment of national-scale cyberinfrastructure". Prior to joining Rensselaer, Berman was Professor in the UC San Diego Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and first holder of the High Performance Computing Endowed Chair in the Jacobs School of Engineering. From 2001 to 2009, Berman served as Director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) where she led a staff of 250+ interdisciplinary scientists, engineers, and technologists. From 2009 to 2012, she served as Vice President for Research at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, stepping down in 2012 to lead U.S. participation in the Research Data Alliance (RDA). Berman is co-Chair of the RDA Council.


Sverker Holmgren

Sverker Holmgren is the Director of Chalmers e-Commons at Chalmers University of Technology, where he is also a Professor of Scientific Computing. Chalmers e-Commons is Chalmers digital infrastructure for research, providing integrated support to Chalmers researchers with a focus on data management, analysis and publication. The infrastructure comprises Chalmers Data Office, computing facilities and expertise in a span of research fields. Chalmers e-Commons is also Chalmers node in the relevant national and international digital infrastructures and initiatives, e.g. the Swedish National Data Service (SND), the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and the Swedish large-scale computing/data analysis initiative.


Max Petzold

Professor Petzold is the director of the National Swedish Data Service (www.snd.se) with the purpose to provide a coordinated and secure structure for describing, depositing, sharing, and finding research data. SND is governed by a consortium consisting of the nine largest Swedish universities: University of Gothenburg, Chalmers University of Technology, Karolinska Institutet, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Lund University, Stockholm University, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå University, and Uppsala University. After professor Petzold was appointed as director 2015 SND has undergone major changes to develop, grow, and expand its activities. The organization now supports 35 universities and other authorities in establishing and running local data access units and secure data storage of well-documented research data following the FAIR-principles. A major undertaking has been to revise the structure of SND to be able to handle sensitive health data within Open Science.

Magnus Sahlgren, Head of Research, NLU, AI Sweden

Magnus Sahlgren is Head of Research for Natural Language Understanding at AI Sweden. Sahlgren has a PhD in computational linguistics, and his research lies at the intersection between computational linguistics, philosophy, and artificial intelligence. He is primarily known for his work on computational models of meaning, and he is currently driving the initiative to train large language models for the Nordic languages. Sahlgren has previously held positions at the Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE), the Swedish Defense Research Agency (FOI), the Swedish Institute of Computer Science (SICS), Stockholm university, and he is the co-founder of the language technology company Gavagai AB.