WorldFAIR: Global cooperation on FAIR data policy and practice – Kick-Off Meeting introduces major new initiative to advance implementation of the FAIR data principles

Paris, 30 June 2022 The WorldFAIR project, coordinated by the ISC's Committee on Data (CODATA), held a successful kick-off meeting online on 9 June 2022, with representatives from the European Commission and all nineteen participating organisations from Europe and beyond.

The WorldFAIR project is a major new global collaboration between partners from thirteen countries across Africa, Australasia, Europe, and North and South America. WorldFAIR will advance implementation of the FAIR data principles, in particular those for Interoperability, by developing a cross-domain interoperability framework and recommendations for FAIR assessment in a set of eleven disciplines or cross-disciplinary research areas.

Colleagues were welcomed to this European Commission-funded project by Marta Truco Calbet, Project Officer, Research Executive Agency; and Javier Lopez Albacete from the EC’s Open Science Unit.  Project coordinator, CODATA and key partner, the Research Data Alliance outlined project governance and administration, before each of the case studies from a range of domain-specific and cross-domain research areas introduced their work package team and aims.

The WorldFAIR case studies have been carefully chosen to provide maximum impact. The objective of each case study is to develop an interoperability framework for their discipline or interdisciplinary research area. They are clustered in connected groups in order to maximise scope while retaining a critical mass of activity and allowing learning and cross-fertilisation of ideas. Collected from CODATA and RDA activities and partnerships, the case studies include leading organisations in a range of research areas, supporting the creation of outputs with global impact.

Encouragingly, the case studies began to identify connections points across work packages straight away.  CODATA Executive Director Simon Hodson, said, “The keystone recommendation of the Turning FAIR into Reality report, and perhaps the most challenging, is Recommendation Four, which calls for the development of interoperability frameworks, based on standards, for established domains and, in particular, for emerging cross-domain research areas of global importance. The WorldFAIR project offers a fantastic opportunity to explore how this may be done—and implemented—in a range of research fields. We are particularly excited that this project will enhance the European Research Area by taking a genuinely global approach and, exceptionally, includes institutions in countries generally outside the scope of EU funding. This is farsighted thinking on the part of the European Commission and leverages the strengths of CODATA and RDA, two organisations with international missions and reach.”

This work will form the core of CODATA’s contribution to the International Science Council (ISC) Action Plan Project 2.1, Making Data Work For Cross-Domain Grand Challenges. WorldFAIR will run for 24 months from 1 June 2022 and is funded by the European Commission through its Horizon Europe Framework Programme, project call HORIZON-WIDERA-2021-ERA-01-01, grant agreement 101058393. 

Notes to editors:

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Photo by Ryo Tanaka on Unsplash.

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