DiSSCo Governance

Governing an infrastructure

The current DiSSCo structure

DiSSCo’s design, preparation, construction and operation occur in distinct sequential phases requiring different governance and management models. These models will evolve as DiSSCo transitions through each developmental phase.

The transition period

Preparatory and Construction Phases

The Steering Committee was DiSSCo’s highest governing body during its design phase (ICEDIG) and thereafter transitioned to a more inclusive governance and management model, the (interim) General Assembly, when DiSSCo was included in the 2018 European roadmap for research infrastructures. 

The (interim) General Assembly

The General Assembly (GA) is DiSSCo’s highest governing body during its preparatory and construction phases. The GA will oversee the progress of DiSSCo’s work programs and linked projects during these two key stages of DiSSCo’s development.

All DiSSCo consortium members will participate fully in the GA with one delegate. Once DiSSCo becomes fully operational the GA may be adjusted to meet the needs of the new research infrastructure.

DiSSCo Coordination and Support Office

The DiSSCo preparatory and construction phase Coordinator is responsible for implementation of the work programs relevant to development of the infrastructure and 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 activities.

The Advisory Boards

The mission of DiSSCo’s advisory boards, the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) and Technical Advisory Board (TAB) is to provide expert consultation services in all matters relating to DiSSCo’s scientific mission (SAB) and the technical operation (TAB).

The two advisory boards consist of international experts who are expected to draw on their knowledge and experience to provide objective, well-considered advice. Both boards operate independently.

Stakeholder Engagement – The National Nodes

DiSSCo’s stakeholders forum consists of representatives from institutions that help support and contribute to the development of DiSSCo’s mission and goals and have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to that effect. Multiple institutions in one country may consolidate into a national node and be represented by a spokes institution, while other institutions may 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 is therefore an essential governance component to ensure overall alignment of activities across existing projects.

The SAP consists of coordinators of the DiSSCo-linked projects and the DiSSCo Coordinator. In aligning activities, the SAP must also guarantee the best use of available resources and ensure project objectives are achieved.

DiSSCo recently set-up auxiliary groups to enhance the work of the SAP, called Synchronisation Groups (SGs).

SAP Membership



Leif Schulman


Coordinator ICEDIG

Kari Lahti


Project Manager ICEDIG

Vince Smith


Coordinator SYNTHESYS+

Katherine Dixey


Project Manager SYNTHESYS+

Ana Casino


DiSSCo CSO & Mobilise Co-chair

Eva Alonso NL Project 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) were set-up to keep all DiSSCo-linked Projects and CETAF working groups aligned and synchronized. Supervised by the SAP, Synchronization Groups identify complementarities and/or overlaps among the different thematic streams, ensuring that the work undertaken under different projects is sufficiently coordinated.

Five SGs and their chairs are identified below:

  • 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)