Public Release: 

Handling big data and small data in a sustainable way

DFG approves new funding program for research data infrastructures

Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

This release is available in German.

As in other areas, science and research are generating digital data faster and in larger volumes than ever before. The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) wants to help researchers in every discipline, from Assyriology to Zoology, to use data more effectively. The Joint Committee of Germany's largest research funding organisation has decided to launch a new funding programme. Its purpose is ensure that quality-assured research data, which is frequently collected at great financial expense in a time-consuming process, is secured on a more permanent basis and made available for re-use by researchers at a later date.

According to current estimates, the global sea of data generated by our digital world doubles in size every two years. In Germany and in the rest of the world, this is giving rise to the question of how these huge flows of data in general, and research data in particular, should be dealt with. Against this background, the Alliance of Science Organisations in Germany formulated the "Principles for the Handling of Research Data" (2010), EU experts presented the paper "Riding the Wave" (2010) and the DFG approved the paper "Taking Digital Transformation to the Next Level" (2012). Furthermore, the German Council of Science and Humanities approved analyses and recommendations to develop information infrastructures in Germany (2012). In the view of all the organisations involved, a new way to manage research data should be given priority.

The new funding programme is the DFG's practical response to discussions and recommendations. The objective of the new funding offered by the DFG is to institute and maintain helpful structures for research data that are oriented towards the demand and requirements of science. The programme will fund projects to develop sustainable concepts and solutions ranging from transregional data infrastructures for one or more disciplines to enhancements to existing infrastructure, taking account of international standards and cross-border cooperation.

With the new funding line, the DFG is hoping that more disciplines will establish a structure that can be seen to encourage innovation. A crucial factor here is a change of awareness towards recognising the significance of quality-assured data management that will take steps towards the re-use of research data. The new funding programme is intended to make a contribution in this respect.


Further Information

More information about the new funding programme can be found here:

DFG programme contact:

Dr. Stefan Winkler-Nees, Scientific Library Services and Information Systems, Tel. +49 228 885-2212,

Dr. Katja Hartig, Life Sciences 1, Scientific Library Services and Information Systems, Tel. +49 228 885-2359,

DFG Press and Public Relations contact:

Dr. Rembert Unterstell, Tel. +49 228 885-2275,

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