Establishing a National Research Data Infrastructure – NFDI

  Copyright: Mario Irrmischer  

In November 2018, the German federal and state goverments have decided to establish a National Research Data Infrastructure, NFDI for short.

The aim of the national research data infrastructure (NFDI) is to systematically manage scientific and research data, provide long-term data storage, backup and accessibility, and integrate the data both nationally and internationally. The NFDI will bring multiple stakeholders together in a coordinated network of consortia tasked with providing science-driven data services to research communities.

DFG – German Research Foundation



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According to the Federal Ministry of Education and Research summarizes the goals of the NFDI are:

  • to improve the access to research data systematically and in the long term
  • to tap and secure decentralized, project-based, temporarily stored data inventories
  • to create a comprehensive, integrated structure of interconnected consortia
  • to bring together providers and users
  • to develop standard for an interopable research data management
  • to create a common basis for research data in terms of data protection, sovereignty, integrity and quality
  • to develop service offerings
  • to ensure international competitiveness

Core elements of the NFDI are the Consortial Assembly, the Scientific Senate, and the Directorate. In May 2019, the Karlsruhe Institut of Technology KIT has announce that the NFDI directorate will be located in Karlsruhe. In March 2020, Professor York Sure-Vetter was appointed NFDI director. Further information are provided on

Consortia Selection Process

During the funding period of ten years, up to 90 million euros will be provided annually for the establishment of up to 30 consortia. The call for proposals is being managed by the German Research Foundation DFG. There are three rounds of calls to select successful consortial proposals, held in 2019, 2020, and 2021.

In 2019, 22 proposals were submitted from applicants in the four academic areas defined by the DFG. The DFG has compiled statistical information (de) on the submitted proposals, which is available for download.

Next Steps

On May 25, 2020, the DFG published the second call for NFDI consortia proposals. The next NFDI conference is scheduled for July 8-9, 2020. The deadline for submission of letters of intent to submit a proposal is August 15, 2020. The full proposal must by received by the DFG by September 30, 2020, at the latest. Further information can be found on the DFG website dedicated to NFDI.

An overview of all consortia planned so far is available for download: Applicant Consortia (de).


If you have any NFDI-related questions, please contact the ServiceDesk. The RDM Team is looking forward to receiving your questions and comments!