SURF 2-Year Plan 2021-2022

The SURF 2-Year Plan is the outcome of an intensive dialogue with members and between sectors and describes the plans for 2021 and 2022. It is an ambitious and consistent plan that enables institutions to work together on shared priorities and allows room for differences between the sectors.
SURF 2-Year Plan 2021-2022
SURF 2-Year Plan 2021-2022

Ambitions of members and priorities

The members have high ambitions. They want their researchers to work together safely both nationally and internationally, so that they can achieve an excellent performance and offer their students the flexibility they need to develop their talents. The members of the cooperative have set priorities for their collaboration within SURF for each sector in 2021 and 2022.  These priorities are the basis of the SURF 2-Year Plan for 2021-2022, and are clustered into the following 7 themes.

Theme: Making education more flexible

SURF's members want to offer students the flexibility they need to develop their talents to the full. For example, they want to offer them more freedom of choice in the composition of their training programme and facilitate lifelong development. National agreements are required to organise this type of flexibility. Online education allows students to study wherever and whenever they want. The coronavirus pandemic has forced members to offer their education entirely online on an ad hoc basis. This change has revealed the need for a range of services that enables people to make didactic, functional and technical choices. 

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Studenten aan een tafel achter hun laptops
Twee onderzoekers aan het werk in het lab

Theme: Research data management

Research flourishes thanks to openness. There is a powerful desire to make all research data available according to FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable), but this is certainly not always possible because researchers lack the facilities to do so. Institutions are responsible for organising this for their researchers. It is necessary to make mutual arrangements in this regard to ensure that research data is available to all researchers according to the FAIR principles. A federated data ecosystem for data that is shared, used and stored based on the same standards and the appropriate conditions makes this possible. Agreements on standards and conditions are necessary in order to achieve such an ecosystem. 

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Theme: Innovation with technology

Technology is evolving very quickly. As a cooperative, SURF can only take full advantage of the opportunities and possibilities that new technologies offer and can only anticipate events in order to continue its world-class services, facilities and expertise if it has up-to-date knowledge of technologies, methods and applications in support of research and education. Investing in this knowledge, experimenting with new technologies in the context of education and research and scaling up new value-added technologies are therefore necessary. The cooperative does this in close collaboration with the member research groups.

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vrouw met vr bril
Twee onderzoekers in lap met laptop

Theme: Collaboration in research

Scientific and applied research is not restricted by the boundaries of specific institutions or research groups. Researchers collaborate nationally and internationally. Research institutes, university medical centres, universities of applied sciences and universities work with each other and collaborate with industry. Digital (or virtual) research environments where researchers can store, edit and share data online makes such collaboration possible. Researchers have the computing power they need thanks to local, national and European computing facilities. 

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Theme: Security

Several recent serious security incidents have underlined the vulnerability of educational and research data. It is essential that we share knowledge and experience, and that we collaborate to identify, locate and respond to security incidents, so that we can optimise the sector's resilience. Continuous adaptation to the information security standards is also necessary to guarantee the open nature of education and research without compromising security. 

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2 personen luisteren aandachtig

Theme: Data control

Educational data, study data, research data and medical data is very valuable. Commercial parties are also aware of that. They invest heavily in services that enable the use of various data. The use of these services has many benefits, but also raises questions about the legal and functional control over the data, for example. For the time being, market developments are causing a scattered playing field in which the roles of the various players are still far from clear. This requires a clear positioning of SURF's members to play an important role in this playing field and to ensure that they can use data under their own conditions. 

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Theme: ICT infrastructure for education and research

SURF provides members with an internationally competitive ICT infrastructure for education and research. Rapid ICT developments mean that the cooperative constantly has to consider which parts of the SURF infrastructure it will develop itself and which parts will be outsourced to the market under the members' conditions. Thanks to international collaboration with organisations such as GÉANT, PRACE, EGI and EOSC, SURF's services are in line with international infrastructures for education and research. 

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Tientallen mensen in ruimte achter computer

Establishment of the SURF 2-Year Plan 2021-2022

In 2020, together with the members, we drew up the 2-Year Plan 2021-2022, as a concrete elaboration of the Multi-annual Agenda 2019-2022. We worked according to a sectoral approach.

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