National research ICT

SURFsara participates in various Dutch platforms and research projects in the field of ICT. One of the objectives of SURFsara in this area is to stimulate the development of innovative ICT services for the benefit of Dutch researchers.

Platforms and consortia

SURFsara is a partner in the following alliances and platforms related to research-supporting ICT:


DTL (Dutch Tech Centre for Life Sciences) is a national platform of institutions working in the life sciences field. DTL aims to achieve a world-class research infrastructure. This infrastructure is intended to secure a permanent position for the Netherlands at the forefront of research and innovation in the area of the life sciences. SURFsara is a founding member of DTL.

Nederland ICT

Nederland ICT is the professional branch organisation of over 550 ICT businesses in the Netherlands. Nederland ICT utilises all expertise and knowledge at its disposal in order to offer its members the best professional opportunities and the highest level of service. SURFsara is a member of Nederland ICT.


Research Data Netherlands (RDNL) is a collaboration between 3TU.Datacentrum, Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS) and SURFsara. In this coalition, which welcomes participation from other parties, the three data archives pool their resources on the topic of sustainable data archiving. With its expertise in the field of nationwide computing and data services, SURFsara complements both partners' areas of focus: the science and technology aspects at 3TU and the social sciences and humanities offered by DANS.

Big Data Alliance

Big Data Alliance is an alliance between partners in academia and industry that collaborate in the areas of Big Data & Business Analytics by exchanging knowledge, establishing training programmes or starting a business. 

Research projects

Since its inception, SURFsara has been collaborating with research institutions to implement innovative ICT solutions for research and/or to innovate the ICT services for these institutions. Examples of this collaboration are:


The goal of the TraIT-project is to build a sustainable infrastructure for biomedical research. The project focuses primarily on the challenges resulting from the enormous data sets produced by this kind of research. SURFsara provides both recommendations on e-infrastructure and computing and data services for this project in order to support the research.


LOFAR (Low-Frequency Array ofwel 'lage-frequentie telescoop') is a radio telescope composed of thousands of radio antennas. The combined receivers result in an extremely wide range of measurement for radio signals from space. The data produced by LOFAR is stored in the LOFAR Long Time Archive, a multi-tiered storage archive with Tier 1 locations in Groningen, Amsterdam (SURFsara) and Jülich, Germany. SURFsara uses the grid infrastructure for the storage and processing of the LOFAR data.


The Nederlandse Federatie van Universitair Medische Centra (NFU) represents eight cooperating UMCs in the Netherlands. Founded in 2004, the NFU is a spin-off of the University Hospitals Association (Vereniging Academische Ziekenhuizen), or VAZ. SURFsara is a participant in the NFU Data4lifesciences project, which focuses on a shared and harmonised ICT infrastructure for biomedical research. This vision involves not only technological facilities such as hardware and software, but quality assurance processes and expertise among researchers and administrators as well.

Collaboration with suppliers

SURFsara challenges suppliers to envision innovative solutions. We are a kind of testbed for suppliers, where new applications can be trialled in a large user group. Suppliers also benefit from technology transfer through access to the new technologies developed by SURFsara for its clients.


Vancis BV was founded in 2008 as a subsidiary of SURFsara (then known as SARA). Vancis provides ICT products and services to businesses, universities, educational institutions and organisations in the field of health care. Vancis BV utilises the knowledge and expertise of SURFsara. For SURFsara, Vancis is a channel through which knowledge and expertise can be made available to a wider group using technology transfer. Vancis BV is a division of SURF.


Bull (now part of ATOS) is SURFsara's current supplier for the national supercomputer Cartesius. SURFsara and Bull share various areas of collaboration. The agreement between Bull and SURFsara stipulates the on-demand expansion of Cartesius whenever new technology becomes available, or when the computing needs of researchers increase. The accelerator portion of Cartesius is an example, as is the January 2015 expansion to include the latest Intel processors. Through their collaboration SURFsara and Bull are contributing to making supercomputer services more sustainable.

Latest modifications 06 Jul 2015

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Chantal Cassee-Swinnen

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