CESSDA featured in the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) Roadmaps of 2006 and 2008 as well as being listed as one of the ESFRI Success Stories under “Research Infrastructures in the implementation phase” in the Strategy Report on Research Infrastructures Roadmap 2010. In 2014, CESSDA was categorised as an already “implemented” project in Prioritisation of Support to ESFRI Projects for Implementation under “Social and Cultural Innovation Strategy Working Group”.
CESSDA was fully established as a permanent legal entity known as CESSDA AS in June 2013 and had its official launch in Bergen, Norway on 5 December 2013. CESSDA AS is a Norwegian limited liability company solely owned by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research, and functions as the legal vehicle for the consortium. It is based on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry and each of the members. The consortium is organised as a distributed infrastructure where each member, represented by a national research authority, has a designated Service Provider (SP) that meets specific demands and requirements specified in the Statutes.
As of today fifteen European countries (Ministries) are members of CESSDA AS, with one Observer (see CESSDA Members). During the course of 2015, two countries joined the CESSDA network, Greece in June, later confirmed as the 14th member during the 5th CESSDA General Assembly (GA) meeting on 19 June 2015, and Belgium, which signed the Memorandum of Understanding on 10 November 2015.1
The vision of CESSDA, as stated in its statutes, is the following: to provide a full scale sustainable research infrastructure that enables the research community to conduct high-quality research which in turn leads to effective solutions to the major challenges facing society today.
The intention since its launch has been to progress rapidly to the European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) status.
CESSDA Strategic Plan
The purpose of the Strategic Plan is to form a bridge between the vision and objectives in the CESSDA (to be CESSDA ERIC) Statutes, and the annual work plan and budget decisions of the General Assembly.
The Strategic Plan should be outwards facing, informing the European Commission, ESFRI, data providers, researchers, and the users of social science results about the strategic objectives and goals of CESSDA over the next period, and what outputs in terms of products and services are expected to be delivered.
CESSDA is expected to become CESSDA ERIC in the course of 2016 or early 2017 and the Strategic Plan 2017-2021 will cover the first five years of operation under this new legal status.
1. Belgium will be confirmed as a new member by the GA early 2016.
Next chapter: Organisation and Governance