Envisioning the collaboration within all NFDI-consortia, members of NFDI4BioDiversity and DataPLANT met at the behinning of the new year for a virtual exchange to discuss cross-cutting issues such as standardization, teaching and qualification, common base level infrastructure, the role of data experts and support in research data management, sustainable financing and consortia extension strategies and common strategies of life sciences-related NFDI consortia.
The conversation on the challenging topic of standardization made the common vision clear that the goal is rather to help users to find existing standards than developing new ones. The objective of DataPLANT is to allow researchers in the lab a convenient ontology extension without having to contact standardization committees. Both consortia will cooperate on standards development in the field of plant biology and tools in the future.
Furthermore, NFDI4BioDiversity convinces with its expertise in the field of data training of junior scientists, even if it is no concrete formation yet. However, we are sure that with combined efforts a great concept for a professional training of so-called "DataStewards" can be created and implemented.
Both consortia, like others in the field of life sciences, depend for their infrastructure on the de.NBI cloud, which provides compute and storage hardware in various forms on which to execute workflows and manage (large scale) data sets. The long term perspective of this resource in respect to the NFDI still needs to be refined.
When considering a sustainable NFDI, it came up that a central HR pool would be advantageous for a proper support of new participants. The community could make use of it if supported by the DFG through future grant applications. For the moment, this idea remains a conceptional construct that needs to be substantiated after consultation with the appropriate contributors.
In any case, the meeting has encouraged to tackle difficult topics jointly and helped to identify the respective counterparts within both consortia. We look forward to a follow-up exchange.