ODISSEI is opgenomen in de Nationale Roadmap van de Permanente Commissie Grootschalige Infrastructuur, die op 13 december 2016 is gepresenteerd. Medio 2017 is een financieringsaanvraag voor doorontwikkeling ingediend, waarvoor in januari 2018 een overbruggingsfinanciering van 500.000 euro is verkregen.

Hieronder vindt u de Engelstalige wetenschappelijke samenvatting, afkomstig uit de ingediende aanvraag.

SCIENTIFIC SUMMARY

Social science is the study of society and the way in which people influence the social world. It covers a wide spectrum of disciplines including economics, political science, human geography, sociology, psychology, demography and law. With their emphasis on explaining how society works, social scientists play a vital role in informing local, national and international authorities, non-governmental organisations and the public. In today’s rapidly changing world, the role of social scientists is probably more important than ever before. Society is facing extremely complex challenges, such as modernisation, ageing, migration, populism, climate change, labour insecurity and increasing social inequalities. Understanding these challenges and finding suitable solutions is at the core of social science.

The data needed to address such challenges is disparate, disconnected and disorganised, preventing both scientific and social innovation. ODISSEI will bring together a vast amount of data in a single data infrastructure and provide scientists with the tools necessary to analyse it. Whilst the Netherlands has an impressive reputation when it comes to collecting and using registries or surveys, new opportunities arise by using new forms of data. Such big data differs from traditional forms of data due to its volume, veracity, variety and velocity as well as it not always being collected with research as its end use. These characteristics provide opportunities and challenges for scientific research: they enable quicker understanding of urgent issues and due consideration of complexity. To increase and deepen the scientific understanding of societal problems and provide solutions to them, there is an urgent need to bring together existing excellent large data collections with sources of administrative and new forms of data.

Integrating traditional and big data within a single data infrastructure is not only important for researchers in the social sciences, but also for other disciplines, including health, the humanities and environmental sciences. A research infrastructure for the social sciences will enable researchers in these fields to consider the social dimension to their research, bringing policy implications and solutions closer to reality. This is already evident where extensive health data including biomarkers and genetics have been used together to reveal the social processes that structure individuals’ health. Ministries and other public authorities also have an interest in integrated collections of data for governance and policy. Exploring and exploiting these rich data requires innovative methods and models of analysis, as well as a new, flexible and integrated infrastructure for the storage and accessing of these data.

ODISSEI is the national data infrastructure for Social Science and Economic Innovations. It was launched by a consortium of universities, NWO, research institutes, ministries, Statistics Netherlands and Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS) in October 2016 to counter fragmentation, reduce overlap, to bring greater focus in data collections and to combine the rich existing and newly collected data into next generation databases and analysis systems. Since its launch, ODISSEI has been collaborating intensively with all the large data collections in the social sciences and to satisfy the need for supercomputing power and advanced analytics, cooperation has been established with SURFsara and the Netherlands eScience Center (NLeSC). Together with these partners, ODISSEI is creating a federated data infrastructure that provides secure remote access to the most innovative and powerful data available so that Dutch social scientists can stay at the cutting edge of research.

The investments requested here will help accelerate and strengthen these developments through five activities. The first will be the creation of an ODISSEI Data Platform and access portal that will bring together an unprecedented amount of data in terms of scope and scale. This platform will then be populated by a further four activities which each aim to bring in specific types of data. The first will looking at improving Administrative Data Linkage and providing researchers secure access to registry data. The second will Calibrate Big Data sources for use in scientific research in collaboration with NLeSC. The third will be Innovating Survey Infrastructures to improve the quantity and quality of data available. The fourth will be looking Beyond the Social Sciences and integrating with research infrastructures in other fields such as health and environmental sciences.