Building the foundation

A strong, stable and cohesive network

DiSSCo has its roots in the European network of natural science collections-based institutions that is the Consortium of European Taxonomic Facilities (CETAF).  The community set out to create DiSSCo back in 2015. They invested three years in drafting an ESFRI Roadmap proposal which was accepted on the roadmap update of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) in June 2018. It scored excellent and was seen as a much needed initiative to fill the taxonomic gap in the research infrastructure landscape.

Different phases

The roadmap of DiSSCo

With the official presentation of DiSSCo to the ESFRI community in September 2018 began the so-called Preparatory Phase. During this phase, DiSSCo will raise its overall maturity and will position itself to implement its construction programme. It will do so by improving its overall readiness of embarking on specific implementation actions and by delivering a comprehensive Construction Masterplan.

Subsequently, DiSSCo will enter in the Construction Phase, where the missing parts of the research infrastructure will be built according to the plan laid out in the Preparatory Phase. This includes the implementation of national investment plans for infrastructure upgrades and large scale digitisation programmes, the application of joint DiSSCo programmes and policies, and the establishment of regional/thematic hubs.

This will be followed by a Transition Phase, preparing the infrastructure for operation. A soft start for some of the service is possible.

Once these phases have been successfully completed comes the moment we all are waiting for: DiSSCo will officially become operational

Across these phases, a lot of things will evolve for DiSSCo. This includes the governance structure, the mode of operation, and the funding sources (see below).