National Icon application – GO-FAIR

Documents National Icon application – June 2016: GO-FAIR

The Netherland’s government has a support instrument called ‘National Icons‘. DTL has prepared an application for the Dutch National Icon call of June 2016 entitled: ‘GO-FAIR’ – Global Open Implementation of the Internet of FAIR Data and Services.

The application document plus all supporting material are presented (and will be continuously updated) below.

If you would like to add your name as supporter of this application, please contact

Abstract of the GO-FAIR application

‘GO-FAIR’ is a Dutch-coordinated international initiative supporting a revolutionary transformation of Open, data intensive science and innovation, with global societal impact. It is a scalable implementation environment to realise an Internet of FAIR data and services, where analytical tools can be combined with relevant data as both are Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and thus ultimately Reusable (i.e. FAIR).

Between visionaries it is agreed that addressing humanity’s grand challenges can only be successful if all information is connected globally. Domain experts increasingly depend on Big Data and specialized ICT to enable knowledge discovery and decision-making. The rapidly emerging trend is utilizing complex analytics combining multiple data sources and expertise areas. Global initiatives, be it regarding precision medicine and personalised health (e.g Health-RI in the Netherlands), precision agriculture, logistics and demographic development, or environmental stewardship are all enhanced by the global availability of FAIR data and services.

However, in reality all scientific domains face enormous methodological challenges. Data production explodes at an unprecedented rate, while data analytics capabilities are hampered by disconnected data and incompatible formats; the loss of data is staggering and so is the subsequent global capital loss.

Dutch research institutions and companies have been leading in solutions to these challenges enabling the transition to data-driven and technology-assisted open science & innovation. This transition phase is intensively addressed at EC and G7 level, especially in the context of the 2016 Dutch EC presidency and the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). The applicant of GO-FAIR is currently the Chair of the High Level Expert Group of the EOSC and GO-FAIR implements its major technical and governance recommendations.

Data management and analytics challenges are very prominent in the Life Sciences. That is why GO-FAIR will start mainly in this sector, but other science disciplines will benefit from Open Implementation both within and across domains and through guided international collaboration in GO-FAIR. By providing the key components of the Internet of FAIR Data and Services ‘backbone’ through the GO-FAIR chain of Open Implementation Labs, this project will impact all sectors of global society as well as constitute a daunting economic potential.

One of the goals for GO-FAIR is to position The Netherlands as a leading scientific infrastructure, technology and services export country and innovation Hub for the EOSC and its USA sister initiative (The Commons). GO-FAIR will achieve this aim by establishing the first implementation for the Life Sciences in the context of DTL with its partners SURF, NLeSC and initially mainly the Life Sciences and Health community, but progressively also with other disciplines. Subsequently, GO-FAIR will establish a series of coordinated ‘Open Implementation Labs’ around the world. GO-FAIR Labs will provide innovation space where public and private partners can work on components of the Internet of Data and Services under internationally agreed ‘Rules of Engagement as will be provided by the EOSC high level expert group.

A successful GO-FAIR as ‘started in The Netherlands’ will create powerful incentives for data producers to comply with FAIR principles, thus fundamentally changing scientific practice by 2020.

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