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ICSU World Data System International Technology Office to open in Canada

Following an international competitive call, the World Data System Scientific Committee (WDS-SC) selected a Canadian consortium formed by three WDS Regular Members to host the WDS International Technology Office (WDS-ITO).

The three members are Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) at the University of Victoria, the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre (CADC) of the National Research Council (NRC) in Victoria, and the Canadian Cryospheric Information Network/Polar Data Catalogue (CCIN/PDC) at the University of Waterloo.

An inaugural workshop was hosted by Ocean Networks Canada at the University of Victoria on 28–29 April 2018 to engage Canadian and international partners on the WDS-ITO vision and work programme. The meeting was attended by representatives of the University of Victoria, the International Council for Science (ICSU), WDS and the three WDS Regular Members, representatives of Canadian and international data related organizations including NRC, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), CANARIEResearch Data Canada, the PORTAGE Network, the Research Data Alliance and ICSU-CODATA.

In their welcoming remarks, Dr David Castle, Vice President Research at the University of Victoria, welcomed the participants and expressed a strong commitment to support the WDS-ITO and make it a success. Professor Sandy Harrison, Chair of WDS, stressed the strategic importance of the WDS-ITO to support the practical implementation of WDS contributions to the global research data infrastructure. Professor Gordon McBean, President of ICSU, highlighted the importance of data management and data integration across domains, in particular to support the research addressing societal challenges and the upcoming formation of an International Science Council which brings together Natural and Social  Sciences.

The first day was mainly focused on presenting and discussing the WDS-ITO vision and concept, and exploring collaboration with existing programmes of the organizations represented. Participants shared their views and identified strong synergies with Canadian initiatives to be further developed in relation to trustworthy data repositories and data stewardship supporting research. They also noted that the three WDS Regular Members cover a broad range of scientific domains and were able to offer a wealth of experience in data management and high-level expertise in software development in particular at ONC.

The second day of the workshop was dedicated to discuss practical steps leading to the launch of the WDS-ITO, including the recruitment of an Associate Director for the office.The pre-announcement for the position is already available (see link below) and will be released on the University of Victoria Human Resources website (for more information contact Benoît Pirenne by email at

JOB POSTING: Associate Director of the WDS International Technology Office (3-year term)

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