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News 14 July 2021

FAIRification put into practice: Characterisation of energy data and development of workflows

Gathering 40 participants, this EERAdata online discussion focused on the state of the art and needs for data management and workflows through best-practice lectures about the organisation of the FAIRification processes. The session was part of the third EERAdata workshop, which continues in October.


On 6 July, the EERAdata project hosted an online discussion in preparation for its third workshop focusing on the FAIRification and opening of energy research data in and with the low carbon energy community.  Three external speakers showcased their best practices on FAIR workflows. Nikola Vasiljevic (DTU Wind Energy) presented approaches from the initiative GOFAIR; Susanna-Assunta Sansone (University of Oxford) gave insights into data processing by the initiative FAIRsharing; and Ivano Castelli (DTU Energy) discussed FAIR data workflows applied in material science. Lastly, Manfred Paier (AIT) introduced participants to the concept of the EERAdata platform.

Dr Nikola Vasiljevic highlighted the FAIR data collective, an informal group collaborating on the FAIRification lifecycle. He stressed that it is pivotal to allow non-web-semantic experts to execute the FAIRification lifecycle, for which they develop controlled vocabularies, metadata templates, and open sources tools, such as the CEDAR workbench.  

In her lecture, Prof. Dr Susanna-Assunta Sansone went back to the roots, clarifying that FAIR principles mean “good data management under common standards”. The general FAIRification process goes through the cycle of ‘define’, ‘implement’, and ‘embed & sustain’. She introduced the initiatives ELIXIR and FAIRsharing, and the support tool FAIR cookbook. While ELIXIR is a platform for FAIR life science data in  Europe, FAIRsharing is an educational resource on data and metadata standards, targeting all disciplines as well as funders, publishers, and other stakeholders. The FAIR cookbook supports the FAIR workflows with recipes and applied examples for each of the FAIR principles.

Dr Ivano Castelli introduced the European project BIG-MAP, which focuses on improving battery technology and is part of the Battery2030+ initiative. The project gathers not only numerical data but also documents, films, and photographs. The data is collected in an app store ready for end-use processing. The data sharing process has been tested in the  Battery2030+ and BIG-MAP projects and will be crucial for the StoRIES project starting in the second half of 2021.

Finally, Manfred Paier presented the concept for the EERAdata community platform. He introduced the idea of FAIR digital objects and FAIR Implementation Profiles as EERAdata’s choice for supporting FAIR workflows and standards.

A panel debate wrapped up the lectures. The take-home message was distilled in a conclusion by Susanna-Assunta Sansone: “It is necessary to jump onto the wagon and try out for the domain (…) Use what exists. There is no way around trying out”. In this spirit, the EERAdata project will continue its work to steer the FAIR train for the low-carbon energy domain.

The next possibility for researchers and policymakers to join the efforts of the EERAdata project is the online workshop organised together with the annual conference of EERA’s transversal Joint Programme on Digitization for Energy. The event will take place between 11 and 15 October 2021.