DiSSCo Governance

Governing an infrastructure

The current DiSSCo structure

The development (including preparation and construction) and operation of DiSSCo are linked to distinct and succeeding phases that require different governance and management models. The description here defines different governing bodies that will evolve according to the DiSSCo phases.

During the bid development

The Steering Committee

During the bid development, the governing body of DiSSCo has been the Steering Committee.

It consists of representatives of the biggest European natural science collections that contributed financially to the preparation of the DiSSCo proposal for inclusion on the ESFRI roadmap 2018 and the activities of the Coordination Team.

Their support and contributions have been of significant importance for the development of what we know today as DiSSCo ESFRI project.

The transition period

Preparatory and Construction Phase

The inclusion of DiSSCo into the European Roadmap of RIs has automatically triggered the transition into the preparatory phase governance model. Therefore, the Steering Committee model will evolve into a more inclusive governance and management model, the General Assembly.

The (interim) General Assembly

The General Assembly (GA) model covers the preparatory and construction phases. The GA will oversee the progress of the different work programs and the so-called DiSSSco-linked projects under the two key stages of developing DiSSCo.

All Consortium members will fully participate in the GA with one delegate.

Once DiSSCo becomes fully operational the GA may be adjusted to the needs of the research infrastructure at that stage.

DiSSCo Coordinator & Coordination and Support Office

The DiSSCo preparatory and construction phase Coordinator takes responsibility for the implementation of the work programs relevant to the development of the infrastructure and the transition to the operational phase.

The role of the Coordination and Support Office is to undertake work relevant to the implementation of the agreed-upon work program under the preparatory and construction stages and support the Coordinator in all his activities.

The Advisory Boards

The DiSSCo Advisory Boards, Scientific and Technical Boards (SAB/TAB) mission is to provide expert consultation services in all matters related to the scientific mission and services in all areas related to the technical sphere of operation of the DiSSCo Research Infrastructure.

DiSSCo Advisory Board members operate independently, as individual experts and they are expected to draw on their experience and expertise to provide objective expert advice when necessary.

Stakeholders Engagement – The National Nodes

The DiSSCo stakeholders’ forum consists of representatives from the institutions, which support and develop the DiSSCo Research Infrastructure.

The way to relate and work with DiSSCo differs from country to country. DiSSCo stakeholders that have signed a Memorandum of Understanding committed to support and contribute to the development of DiSSCo’s mission and goals. Most of them constitute a National Node (NN) with a leading spoke institution while others operate individually.

Strategic Alignment of Projects

Running a number of DiSSco-linked projects simultaneously creates a very complex web of tasks.

The Strategic Alignment of Projects (SAP) group consists of the Coordinators of DiSSCo-linked projects and the DiSSCo Coordinator. Its mission is to guarantee the best use of the resources available and the achievement of the projects’ objectives.

SAP, as its title indicates, works towards the overall alignment of activities across the existing projects.

DiSSCo recently has set up a number of groups to enhance the work led by SAP in that matter, the Synchronisation Groups (SGs).

SAP Membership



Leif Schulman


Coordinator ICEDIG

Kari lathi


Pr. Manager ICEDIG

Vince Smith


Coordinator SYNTHESYS+

Katherine Dixey


Pr. Manager SYNTHESYS+

Ana Casino


DiSSCo CSO & Mobilise co-chair

Eva Alonso NL Pr. Manager DiSSCo Prepare
Wouter Addink NL DiSSCo CSO
Dimitris Koureas NL DiSSCo Coordinator, Coordinator DiSSCo Prepare & Mobilise chair

Synchronization Groups

DiSSCo Synchronisation Groups (DiSSCo SGs) have been set up for better aligning and synchronizing all DiSSCo-linked Projects as well as the CETAF working groups. Supervised by the SAP, the SGs goal is to support and align related work in the DiSSCo developments. The tasks are to identify complementarities and/or overlaps among the different thematic streams, ensuring that the work undertaken under different projects is sufficiently coordinated.

Five SGs have been identified to implement cross-cutting topics relevant towards the readiness of DiSSCo:

  • SG1. Policy harmonisation & International coordination
    • Chair: Vanessa DEMANOFF (MNHN – Paris, FR)
  • SG2. Data (Standards and other common resources)
    • Chair: Anton GÜNTSCH (BGBM – Berlin, DE)
  • SG3. Tools and Services (Data models, management, publishing pipelines & services)
    • Chair: Alex HARDISTY (Cardiff University – Cardiff, UK) 
  • SG4. Digitisation
    • Chair: Laurence LIVERMORE (NHM London – London, UK)
  • SG5. Training & capacity enhancement
    • Chair: Hugo de BOER (NHM Oslo – Oslo, NO)