Update from Council

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18 Jun 2018

Update from Council

The Council met at the beginning of June (4th & 5th) for an intense two-day meeting in Troy (NY, USA) kindly hosted by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). Items on the agenda included Managing RDA growth, Engaging with Regions, RDA governance, boards and eventual evolution, Financial sustainability of the RDA Foundation and RDA Global, The Value of RDA to different stakeholders and the Secretary General Work Plan.

This was the first meeting for the three new Council members elected by the RDA community in April this year: Ingrid Dillo, Jason Haga and Claudia Maria Bauzer Medeiros. Council elected Ingrid Dillo as the new co-chair to work alongside Ross Wilkinson to coordinate Council. Ingrid is on leave until September 1 and between now and then, previous co-Chair Fran Berman will substitute for her as needed.

Much progress has been made since the Berlin meeting at 11th RDA Plenary in terms of the strategic activities being taken forward by Council, all of which are very much intertwined and with a view to supporting the community as it consolidates and grows.

The regional engagement task force, made up of a subset of existing and aspiring RDA regions, defined a draft document on what regional engagement with RDA could look like. The Council felt that it would be very valuable to formalise partnership agreements between regions and RDA Global (legally and officially represented by the RDA Foundation), as it is essential to recognise the support and activities in regions around the globe. Work on the agreements and framework will continue over the coming months, with a view to presenting the framework at the Botswana Plenary meeting.

Managing growth, RDA Governance and the financial sustainability discussions focused on ensuring excellent operational support for the RDA community, scalability, increased governance boards, and financial stability were all discussed intensively. It was agreed that RDA Governance document be updated to reflect current practice, and recognising possible future growth options.

The Secretary General, responsible for supporting the RDA membership, and its supporting structures to achieve the goal of the Research Data Alliance - to accelerate international data-driven innovation and discovery by facilitating research data sharing and exchange, presented her activities since she took up her position 5 months ago and outlined her priorities for the next 5 months.

The Council meets virtually every month and has face to face meetings at all Plenary meetings as well as one “off Plenary” two day meeting. The next meeting will take place in Botswana at the 12th Plenary Meeting.