What we plan to do

Work Programme

As the preparatory phase project of DiSSCo, DiSSCo Prepare, has a central role in the DiSSCo development programme. It focuses on bringing together the results of other DiSSCo-linked projects and filling in the missing parts across the different dimensions of the new RI.

The work of DiSSCo Prepare is organised in nine Work Packages (WP).

Work Packages

The Work in Detail

User needs & socioeconomic impact (WP1)

Lead: Natural History Museum of Denmark – University of Copenhagen

This WP will examine the needs of research projects and research application activities (e.g. nature conservation) based on natural sciences collections (NSCs), and the requirements these needs set for the services to be provided by DiSSCo. This will be done across biological (Task 1.1) and geological (Task 1.2) NSCs. Criteria for prioritisation of digitisation of collections, data linking, generation and enrichment, taking into consideration user needs and (potential) socio economic impact, will be analysed (Task 1,3). Socioeconomic impacts of DiSSCo and DiSSCo-enabled research will then be examined with the aim to develop indicators and tracking mechanisms (Task 1.4).

Human Resources, Training & Users Support (WP2)

Lead: National Museum of Natural History and Science, University of Lisbon

This WP is divided into three tasks. Task 2.1 will build upon information gathered in previous and current projects and on new information collected by WP3 to deliver a training strategy with distinct channels and modes of accessing training to address the identified needs, of both the data suppliers and the users of DiSSCo. Task 2.2 will build upon the service-specific helpdesk developed under SYNTHESYS+ to design the DiSSCo-wide helpdesk. Task 2.3 will deliver a human resources policy where factors that induce strategic performance in human resources management are identified, and key competencies that will guide international recruitment and selection, team-based organisation, performance appraisal and a remuneration system are laid out.

Capacity enhancement (WP3)

Lead: Natural History Museum, London

WP3 contributes to the preparation of DiSSCo facilities to work towards new institutional roles, and new technical infrastructure requirements, supporting digitisation, exploitation and enrichment of digital collections. This work will provide the capacity enhancement necessary to increase the technical, human and process capacity needed for DiSSCo across institutions. Key outputs cover the formation of key sections of the DiSSCo Construction Masterplan, including a) a summary of recommendations on communication, policy, governance, outreach and organisational structure, and competency frameworks; b) a summary of best practices for data mobilisation at the institutional level to develop the DiSSCo plan for data mobilisation and curation pipelines, which will form key sections of the DiSSCo Preparedness Manual and Toolkit;  and finally, c) the development of DiSSCo secondment and distributed team working practices for the technical teams to be adopted within the construction phase of DiSSCo. 

Business Framework (WP4)

Lead: National Museum of Natural History, Paris

WP4 aims to deliver the DiSSCo cost book that covers all aspects of funding, including the design of a sustainable business model. It is divided into four tasks. Task 4.1 will set up the parameters which describe all the activities in DiSSCo and will have the Cost Book of the operation of DiSSCo as its final output. It is divided into subtasks which tackle the different areas of application: running costs, capital expenditure and IT infrastructure. Task 4.2 will select and combine Cost Book parameters to establish the cost structure for digitisation-on-demand or data enrichment provided by DiSSCo and other services identified in WP1. Task 4.3 will produce the most suitable model for national contributions to DiSSCo by investigating current models for research infrastructures. Finally, Task 4.4 will set up the financial relationships between DiSSCo industrial partners. 

Common Resources and Standards (WP5)

Lead: Berlin Natural History Museum

WP5 aims to achieve the technical readiness for organisations by identifying, developing, and providing services and best practices for DiSSCo. This aim is achieved by incorporating profound experience in, e.g. data standards, modelling platforms, and service infrastructures in accordance with outputs from leading initiatives and consortia outside the DiSSCo RI. The objectives of WP5 are divided into four tasks which will produce five corresponding Deliverables: 

  • D5.1 DiSSCo Knowledge base for technical development, 
  • D5.2 DiSSCo Modelling Framework, 
  • D5.3 DiSSCo Digital Specimen Object Specifications, 
  • D5.4 A best practice guide for semantic enhancement and improvement of semantic interoperability, and 
  • D5.5 Construction plans for the improvement of technical infrastructure in the areas of geo-collection data and taxonomic services.
Technical Architecture & Services provision (WP6)

Lead: Senckenberg Society for Nature Research, Frankfurt a.M.

WP6 is responsible for the design of the DiSSCo technical architecture and the development of an implementation plan. The WP activities are divided into four tasks: Task 6.1 focuses on including the harmonisation of the collection management systems (CMS) of the partner organisations, resulting in a CMS integration plan into the DiSSCo RI (D6.1) that provides the harmonisation and migration plan for the integration of the CMS into the DiSSCo RI. Within Task 6.2 the designs of the core architecture centred on the DiSSCo knowledge graph is prepared, and D6.2 supplies the implementation and construction plan for the DiSSCo core architecture. Task 6.3 complements the efforts in Task 6.2 focusing on the interoperability with end-user services, delivering a generalised set of API specifications for interaction with the DiSSCo Architecture (D6.3). Task 6.4 links the activities of WP6 to the European and global technology landscape and implements the DiSSCo data management plan, ensuring ENVRI FAIR compliance of DiSSCo services (D6.4).

Governance, Policy & Legal frameworks (WP7)

Lead: Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels

WP7 aims at achieving the Organisational Readiness for which the work is divided into three tasks. Task 7.1 will combine and analyse outputs of previous projects to provide a ready-to-implement organisational model for governance structure and function (D7.1). Within Task 7.2 a SWOT analysis will be performed to provide a draft status and by-laws implementation plan to establish DiSSCo as a legal entity (D7.2). Task 7.3 will focus on comparing current access and management policies to prepare an assessment tool and direction map to the implementation of DiSSCo policies (D7.3). The representatives of the national consortia will be consulted (under Task 8.1) at key moments of the elaboration of the final documents. WP7 also focuses on developing a clear case on the best option for the establishment of DiSSCo as a legal entity. Task 7.3 focuses on delivering a common set of access and management policies.

Stakeholder engagement & Communication Strategy (WP8)

Lead: Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities, Brussels

To put the project partners in a position to fulfill the objectives mentioned above and advocate on behalf of DiSSCo, showcasing its relevance and urgency, WP8 will provide communication channels (Task 8.2) and strategic mechanisms (Task 8.4). To facilitate, the communication and dissemination strategy (D8.1) will lay out tools and key messages for the consortium to use in all fora where DiSSCo RI and any DiSSCo-linked project, including DPP, will be present. To allow further targeted communication activity, the landscape around DiSSCo needs to engage decision makers, with national nodes acting as an interface to their national governments (Task 8.1), and the wider domain to investigate synergies and opportunities (Task 8.3). The former will be accompanied by a specialisation strategy (D8.2) to inform prioritisation objectives in countries and institutions to carry out once DiSSCo moves to the construction phase. The latter will specifically strengthen the links with industry and other RIs by exploring future relationships and procedures for collaboration and procurement resulting in Partnership Best Practices (D8.3), a framework for alignment and cooperation.

Project Management (WP9)

Lead: Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden

The WP9 will set up the governance and management structure, necessary bodies, and collect all documents necessary for producing the DiSSCo Construction Masterplan.

WP9 is split into four tasks that focus on the following key project-wide objectives:

  • Set-up and operate the key project governance and management bodies, ensure quality and invoke necessary mitigation actions against identified risks;
  • Ensure seamless day-to-day implementation of the project, providing the right platforms for technical management technical platforms, financial management and overall administration of the project;
  • Support the operation of the critical advisory boards of DiSSCo, including the stakeholders and Funders Forum, Scientific and Technical Advisory boards;
  • Bring together the outputs of the project to deliver the DiSSCo Construction Masterplan and initiate the process for the establishment of the new DiSSCo legal entity.