After successfully completing the EU-funded project CESSDA Strengthening and Widening in 2017, CESSDA ERIC is actively continuing its widening activities in 2018.
Hosted by the Interdepartmental Centre UniData – Bicocca Data Archive, a joint project of seven departments of the University of Milano-Bicocca, this year’s first Widening Meeting was held on 5 and 6 June in Milan.
Christina Messa, the rector of the University, and Giampaolo Nuvolati, Dean of the Sociology Department, welcomed the Italian initiative to join the consortium, as well as the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR).
“The Ministry expects to continue supporting the Italian role in European research infrastructures,” said Grazia Pavoncello, the Ministry delegate present at the meeting, adding that CESSDA is one of the 97 research infrastructures recognised by their national programme for research infrastructures.
In total 48 representatives from 23 European countries joined the presentations and panel discussions, eleven of which were from member or observer countries and twelve from non-member countries. Representatives from non-member countries used the opportunity to lay the foundations for a new cooperation between their institutions and CESSDA, as a first step towards membership.
The meeting succeeded to gather representatives from ministries, research councils, national archives and libraries, universities, and current CESSDA service providers from member countries. A distinguished guest, Jan Hrušák, the Vice-Chair and delegate to the European strategy forum on research infrastructures (ESFRI) participated in one of the panel sessions and held a presentation on sustainability of research infrastructures, updating the participants on the latest developments.
The meeting was a part of continuous efforts to strengthen and widen the CESSDA ERIC community across Europe and beyond. Currently, sixteen European countries are members of CESSDA ERIC and one is an observer, with several countries in the process of becoming a member. The organisers announced the continuation of the Widening project, a part of CESSDA Work Plan 2018, and invited all participants to join the next workshop in November.