The process of transformation from CESSDA to CESSDA ERIC (European Research Infrastructure Consortium) started in early 2015 with Step 1 application submitted in April 2015. In June 2015, the CESSDA General Assembly decided a future structure for the ERIC with a Managing Director and a General Assembly as the governing bodies. Updated submission materials (CESSDA ERIC Statutes, Technical and Scientific Description of CESSDA with annexes) will be submitted to Step 2 application in 2016. It is expected that a majority of the current members of CESSDA will become founding members of CESSDA ERIC, to be established by the end of 2016 or early 2017.
Upcoming Initiatives & Priorities for 2016
Work carried out in 2015 as part of the 2015 Work Plan has to be followed up and upgraded in 2016. Most of the projects funded in 2015 will be carried over to 2016 and beyond, and 2016 Work Plan projects will be approved by the General Assembly. The Technical Framework project will continue its second phase of development. CESSDA Product and Service Catalogue is scheduled to start in early 2016, as well as further work on the CESSDA tasks allocated to the German Service Provider GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences. Cooperation with Eurostat is an important part of future planned activities in the framework of current and newly submitted EU funded projects as well as future work plans. All four working groups will either continue and upgrade their work, as is the case for the Communications Group and the Technical Group, which have been running since 2014, or kick-start their activities in early 2016.
CESSDA is constantly strengthening its current membership, while at the same time seeking to widen it so as to include new member countries and appointed Service Providers, thus expanding its pan-European coverage in providing access to data in the social sciences to the research community. Current activities in that area are predominantly carried out in the framework of the CESSDA SaW project, on the one hand trying to establish general standards in research data management among current Service Providers (strengthening), and on the other, providing clear criteria for joining CESSDA for all future member countries and their data archives (widening). In parallel to that process, CESSDA is approached every year by several archives making efforts to join the consortium. Greece became a member of CESSDA on the day of the General Assembly meeting of June 2015. Belgium signed the Memorandum of Understanding in November 2015 and will be confirmed as a new member of CESSDA by the General Assembly early 2016.
The following countries are in contact with CESSDA concerning membership: Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine.
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