News / 14 June 2016

iRODS Consortium welcomes prestigious European university as newest member

CHAPEL HILL, NC – June 14, 2016 – Utrecht University, one of the largest general research universities in Europe located in Utrecht, the Netherlands, is the 17th organization to join the iRODS Consortium, the membership-based foundation that leads development and support of the integrated Rule-Oriented Data System (iRODS).

Utrecht University is an international research university and the alma mater of many leading academics and scientists. With almost 30,000 students, more than 6,000 staff, and a 2016 annual budget of €790 million, it ranks as one of the largest and highest ranked European universities. The prestigious Academic Ranking of World Universities, issued annually by the University of Shanghai, has named Utrecht the best Dutch university every year since its first published rankings in 2003.

The university already uses iRODS to manage more than a petabyte of research data on 6,000 subjects involved in the longitudinal study Dynamics of Youth, a research thrust aimed at understanding how the interplay between biology and environment determines the ability of children to function in society. Carolien Besselink, Utrecht’s Chief Information Officer and director of Information and Technology Services, said the university looks forward to expanding the use of iRODS to other research fields and to contributing to iRODS sustainability and innovation.

“iRODS is a key technology component of our research IT strategy,” said Besselink. “It gives our researchers the ability to manage the integrity of their data sets and to collaborate on research data with peers locally, at other institutes, and outside the Netherlands.  By using iRODS, we have a scalable integration architecture that manages both data and contextual information across distributed storage platforms.”

Launched in 2014, the iRODS Consortium leads development and support of iRODS as free open source software for managing large, complex data. iRODS Consortium membership has more than doubled in the last year. Other members are the Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) and the Data Intensive Cyber Environments (DICE) Center at UNC-Chapel Hill, Seagate, DataDirect Networks, Western Digital/HGST, Bayer, Novartis, Panasas, IBM, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Cleversafe, Complete Genomics, the National Institute for Computational Sciences at the University of Tennessee, University College London, EMC, and NASA’s Atmospheric Science Data Center.

“Utrecht is a powerhouse research university with scientists working to find solutions to important problems, including climate change, infectious diseases, and the challenges related to an aging population,” said Jason Coposky, Interim Executive Director of the iRODS Consortium. “Their research IT experts have turned to iRODS as a data management and sharing solution and we look forward to working with them through the consortium to make sure iRODS addresses all their data needs.”

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Cesar Garde