The University of Groningen (UG) Center for Information Technology (CIT) is the newest member of the iRODS Consortium, the membership-based organization that leads efforts to develop, support, and sustain the integrated Rule-Oriented Data System (iRODS).
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.
“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 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.
For more on iRODS and the iRODS Consortium, visit the iRODS website.
About the University of Groningen
The University of Groningen has a rich academic tradition dating back to 1614. From this tradition arose the first female student and the first female lecturer in the Netherlands, the first Dutch astronaut and the first president of the European Central Bank. The university is also home to Ben Feringa, a professor of organic chemistry who won the 2016 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work on the development of molecular machines. University students are challenged to excel, burgeoning talent is cultivated, and the keyword is quality. The University is committed to actively cooperating with its partners in society, with a special focus on its research themes of Healthy Aging, Energy, and Sustainable Society.