NFDI4Chem held its second consortium meeting on 14 and 15 October 2021. The members of the consortium were joined by representatives from all four Advisory Boards. A full programme highlighted the progress of the consortium after the first year of work as well as the challenges ahead.
October 2021 marked the first anniversary of NFDI and all NFDI consortia of the first selection round, including NFDI4Chem, of course. To look back on what was achieved in the first year of work and to cast an eye on the challenges ahead towards building a national research data infrastructure in chemistry, the partners in NFDI4Chem gathered on 14 and 15 October for their second consortium meeting. Again, owing to the ongoing pandemic, plans to meet in person were abandoned at short notice and the event went virtual once more.
For the first time, the consortium members were joined by a nearly full representation of the NFDI4Chem Advisory Boards (ABs). Given the early stage of the project, the members of the ABs took a mostly observing position and did not provide a formal evaluation. Nonetheless, they participated actively in the discussions and critically challenged the consortium members on the presentation of achievements and future plans. Reassuringly, the consortium was met with a lot of praise for its efforts and received strong encouragement to continue on its current path.
Early in the planning of Consortium Meeting 2.0, the Steering Committee had decided to engage colleagues who build the individual components of the infrastructure on a day-to-day basis. To this end, a series of flash talks, each approximately five minutes long, accompanied the respective reports from the five technical task areas. As there were more talks than slots available on day one, an additional, dedicated flash talk session took place on the second day of the meeting. Topics included data repositories, universal molecular identifier, ontologies, guidelines for standards or copyright issues, to name but a few.
The programme of the meeting was rounded off with a session on news from the NFDI family, progress reports on all four sections of the NFDI e.V., a discussion of administrative aspects of the consortium, an introduction of the project management tool Open Project, and two rounds of general discussion at the end of both days.
Last but not least, the Consortium Meeting helped raise the number of @nfdi4chem followers on Twitter over the 500 mark.