01.11.2023 | DataNord
DataNord: A Data Competence Center for the Bremen Region
The University of Bremen, in close collaboration with the U Bremen Research Alliance and other partners, is establishing a data competence center for the entire region. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research is supporting the establishment of the center with over 3.5 million euros.
This article was published as a press release by the University of Bremen. You can find the original article here .
“Our vision is to extend Bremen’s strong expertise in the field of data science to a data competence center with a lighthouse character, which can serve as a model for other regions in Germany, ” says the project leader at the University of Bremen, Professor Rolf Drechsler, who is one of three spokespeople for the project. The goal of the interdisciplinary data competence center for the Bremen region (DataNord) is to create a place for researchers in the area to learn about data science, and research and network together, independent of boundaries in institutes and disciplines. Professor Frank Oliver Glöckner, spokesperson for the initiative at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), adds, “Digitalization is advancing steadily and the amount of available data is enormous. However, data is not useful unless it can be analyzed and transformed into knowledge. DataNord helps researchers gain the abilities needed to do this.”
DataNord provides researchers of every career level opportunities to improve their abilities in working with data. These services include trainings, hackathons, consultation services, as well as opportunities for networking and professional discussion. Research activities focusing on data literacy education are offered as part of the DataNord “Research Academy”. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) will support the establishment of the center with a total funding of 3.5 million euros. Of this, more than two million euros will go to the university as network coordinator.
Competence Center as a Beacon and Model for Other Regions
Professor Michal Kuchera, Vice President for Research and Transfer at the University of Bremen, adds, “DataNord is a groundbreaking initiative that will strengthen data competence in the Bremen region and will promote collaboration between different academic disciplines. This has developed as part of a long and successful tradition of cooperation between the research institutes and universities in Bremen. The project will help us achieve the goal of offering all researchers in the region a broad range of services to further develop their research and skills in working with data.” Professor Iris Pigeot, director of the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology – BIPS and one of the spokespeople, emphasizes, “With DataNord we will support a cultural change in the use of research data and also strengthen the basis for the emergence of data-driven knowledge and innovations.”
Within this training, the entire life cycle of research data is considered – from the collection and management of data to its analysis and the critical questioning and evaluation of hypotheses, data foundations and results – all while considering ethical, legal, and social aspects. Dr. Lena Steinmann, who coordinated the project proposal at the University of Bremen, emphasizes, “I am convinced that strengthening data literacy plays a decisive role in academic progress, and DataNord will play an important part in helping researchers to better use their data.”
The DataNord network covers a wide range of profile areas, including environmental and marine sciences, social sciences, material sciences and engineering, health sciences, and the liberal arts. This broad approach is representative of the diverse research environment in Bremen and ensures that researchers from several disciplines can profit from the services of the data competence center.
Who is Involved in DataNord
The project is a result of the collaborations in the U Bremen Research Alliance (UBRA) – a collaborative network established in 2016 with the University of Bremen and twelve external research institutes. The leadership of the UBRA lead project “Research Data Management and Data Science”, comprised of Prof. Dr. Frank Oliver Glöckner (MARUM/University of Bremen & AWI), Prof. Dr. Rolf Drechsler, and Prof. Dr. Iris Pigeot (BIPS), also oversee DataNord and initiated this project. Dr. Lena Steinmann and Dr. Tanja Hörner work as a team to coordinate DataNord.
Project partners who also received funding are the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology – BIPS, the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence Bremen (DFKI), the Institute for Information Management Bremen GmbH (ifib), and the U Bremen Research Alliance e.V. In addition to the other UBRA institutions, the following are also involved: the Bremen University of Applied Sciences, the State and University Library, BIBA – Bremen Institute for Production and Logistics GmbH, as well as the NFDI consortia and infrastructure centers. The University of Bremen is in charge of network coordination.
DataNord prevailed in two funding phases with over 70 submitted applications. The first five-month phase was for conceptual design. For the three-year implementation phase, DataNord will be supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research with a total of more than 3.5 million euros. Of this amount, over two million euros will go to the University of Bremen.