Subprojects such as TralT, BBMRI-NL, PSI and DTL have achieved a great deal in the field of data infrastructure, but coordinated action is needed to sustain and expand these results.
Urgent reasons for adapting the current infrastructure are the EU Privacy Regulation, the implementation of new Electronic Health Records and more stringent requirements placed on the quality of data management and reusability of data by important research sponsors, like NWO, ZonMw and KWF.
UMCs are responsible for quality of research data and accuracy with which these are collected, stored, processed and archived. UMCs also have to meet relevant regulations on protection of privacy and patient safety, and need to take adequate actions to prevent abuse, scientific fraud and security leaks. An excellent national infrastructure is needed to support the UMCs and help to reduce (reputational) damage, which could arise if individual investigators do not comply with the applicable legislation.
Joint action by the UMCs will reinforce the competitive position in The Netherlands and on an international level. This is a prerequisite for attracting substantial funding in the future to be able to join new programmes, and to stay ahead of the competition. European infrastructures are, furthermore, playing an increasingly important role in the acquisition of new resources that UMCs can exploit.