Innovation zones: using IT innovation to improve the quality of education and research

In the coming years, the SURF organisation will work with its members to improve the quality of education and research with the aid of IT innovation. We will do this in nine innovation zones. On this page you can read which ones they are and what the current state of affairs or ambition is.

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Innovation zone Handling data responsibly

Sharing sensitive and non-sensitive data according to FAIR principles and reusing them optimally: that is what this zone is aiming for in 2027.


By 2027, researchers will be able to share and reuse both sensitive and non-sensitive data according to the FAIR principles in an optimal way. They will easily stay in complete control of their data and the conditions for third parties to access it. They are supported by expertise and services that meet the required standards and policy agreements. Consequently, this priority concerns the implementation of the FAIR principles in the research landscape and data sovereignty and researchers’ control of data. This also includes the responsible use of data for AI.


This priority concerns data from research, not data about research. Roadmaps for this priority are the further and broader implementation of the FAIR principles, implementation of the HOSA architecture for research, expansion of the existing central infrastructures such as SURF Research Cloud and SURF Research Access Management (SRAM) and research into the setting up of joint data exchanges. Collaboration with research communities is essential here, as they all have their own specific needs and data from research is never a ‘one size fits all’ exercise. SURF will also work closely with partners such as DANS to make the service delivery as transparent as possible for researchers.