University of Groningen joins iRODS Consortium

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Today the iRODS Consortium announced that the University of Groningen (UG) Center for Information Technology (CIT) is its newest member. The iRODS Consortium is a membership-based organization that leads efforts to develop, support, and sustain the integrated Rule-Oriented Data System (iRODS).

For years there was a need for technical solutions for various problems in the field of research data management that researchers are running into,” said Jonas Bulthuis, IT consultant at the CIT. “iRODS offers building blocks with which we can offer solutions for managing research data.”

UG, a research university with a global outlook, is deeply rooted in the northern Netherlands town of Groningen, known as the City of Talent. The University ranks among the top 100 in several important ranking lists. It boasts a student population of about 30,000, both locally and internationally, and employs 5,500 full-time faculty and staff. Its Center for Information Technology (CIT) serves as the university’s IT center and promotes the sophisticated use of IT in higher education and research. CIT’s 200 employees manage the IT facilities and support processes for all students and staff members.

UG technology experts envision that in a few years every researcher at the university and the university hospital will use iRODS-based storage. This requires iRODS to be rich in features, easy to use, and cost-effective. Easy-to-use data management and data discovery through iRODS will allow researchers to focus on their work without investing too much time in IT technical skills or having to worry about the technical requirements related to privacy regulations (such as the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which launches in May).

The UG aims to offer a standardized research environment, in which half of researchers will be able to do their work, while the other half of the UG research community will be offered customized solutions. To achieve its goals, the CIT is building a team with developers, technical specialists, analysts, and researchers.

With CIT as member of the iRODS Consortium, we would like to support the further development of iRODS because iRODS is essential to what we do,” said Haije Wind, technical director of the CIT.

“The University of Groningen is an important, respected research university, and we look forward to giving them the data infrastructure to manage, share, store, and keep their data safe and compliant,” said Jason Cosposky, executive director of the iRODS Consortium. “They will add another important voice to our community that steers the continued development of iRODS.”

In addition to UG, iRODS Consortium members include Bayer, Dell/EMC, DDN, HGST, IBM, Intel, MSC, the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, OCF, RENCI, the Swedish National Infrastructure for Computing, University College London, Utrecht University, and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. Consortium members direct the technology and governance of iRODS, which is used by thousands of businesses, research institutes, universities, and governments worldwide. Consortium members also receive priority access to support, training, and consulting.

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