- organised as a network of expert groups;
- supported by and working for a growing number of partner institutions;
- run as a non-profit network organisation.
DTL is first and foremost an expanding network of more than one hundred expert groups with a diverse profile. DTL offers a platform for people to exchange experiences, create solutions for common challenges, and coordinate the development of guidelines and standards. The groups are
- specialised in technologies ranging from wet lab (e.g., genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, microscopy and bioimaging), to phenotype and lifestyle assessments, to data treatment (e.g., bioinformatics and data science, biostatistics, systems biology, computational biology, e-science or ICT);
- involved in life sciences domains ranging from health to agro, nutrition, industrial microbiology, ecology and biodiversity;
- located at universities, university medical centres, research institutes or private companies across the Netherlands (these are the DTL partners).
The host institutes of the expert groups – the DTL partners– have a collective interest in realising a high-quality interconnected research infrastructure, and they actively contribute to the DTL network. Universities, university medical centres, life science institutes and e-science institutes are DTL partners, and the group of industrial partners is rapidly growing. Partner organisations are directly involved in the DTL organisation through a representative in the partner advisory committee.
DTL is run as a public-private network of experts and policymakers affiliated with the DTL partner organisations, supported by a foundation (‘Stichting DTL’) with a small facilitating team. This team (the ‘DTL office’ or ‘DTL core team’) supports and guides the activities of the DTL community. Examples of the core team’s activities include making inspiring partner initiatives visible, stimulating the exchange of expertise, driving active collaboration among DTL-associated groups, organising topical science & technology meetings, establishing relevant links, providing information to the community, guiding collective agenda-setting among partners and funders, international outreach of important deliverables of the DTL collective, and assisting in the architecture of cross-partner projects and acquisition of funds to execute them.
DTL is governed by a board of domain representatives from all life science domains and major types of DTL partner organisations, whose role is to ensure DTL achieves its long-term goals, takes the best scientific and strategic approach in the interest of its stakeholders, and develops the highest quality activities with impact. Operations are monitored by a scientific advisory committee consisting of senior staff from academia and industry. In addition, the board is advised by executive representatives from the partner institutes (the partner advisory committee).