The SSI is a Founding Member of the Research Software Alliance (ReSA) international community

Posted by j.laird on 17 February 2022 - 10:00am
laptop screen with logos of ReSA founding members
Image courtesy of Bongkarn Thanyakij from Pexels 

The Research Software Alliance (ReSA) is honoured to announce the six Founding Members of its international community:

  • Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC): The ARDC enables the Australian research community and industry access to nationally significant, digital research infrastructure.
  • Alfred P. Sloan Foundation: A not-for-profit, mission-driven grantmaking institution dedicated to improving the welfare of all through the advancement of scientific knowledge. 
  • Digital Research Alliance of Canada: The Alliance catalyzes world-class Canadian research through the provision of digital research infrastructure and services.
  • Netherlands eScience Center: The Netherlands’ national center for innovative and sustainable research software, to pioneer leading-edge research.
  • Software Sustainability Institute (SSI), UK: The SSI is a UKRI-funded national facility for improving research software practice. Since 2010, the SSI has been cultivating better, more sustainable, research software to enable world-class research.
  • National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), USA: Since 1986, NCSA has been a leader in supercomputing and software technologies including the world’s first graphical web browser, Mosaic.

Founding Members express their deep commitment to delivering the ReSA vision that research software and those who develop and maintain it are recognised and valued as fundamental and vital to research worldwide. To do this, they provide resources needed to support ReSA in its aim to bring research software communities together to collaborate on the advancement of the research software ecosystem.

Research software is increasingly valued in the research ecosystem, and international and national policy practices are evolving to reflect this. Studies have shown 90 percent of UK researchers acknowledge software as important for their research, while 95 percent of US postdoctoral students use research software.

In 2022, the ReSA Founding Members will provide a combination of funding and in-kind support totalling USD$365,000. This will support a multitude of community projects, including:

  • Vive la différence - research software engineers, a Lorentz Center hybrid workshop in April 2022 to consider diversity, equity, and inclusion could be framed at the heart of research software engineering.
  • Establishment of the Research Software Funders Forum to provide a formal mechanism for funders to share practices and consider how to address common challenges to achieve the significant cultural change needed across the research sector globally. Thirty funders from all over the world are participating in this initiative.
  • Expansion of the mapping of the research software community landscape to expand the 2020 analysis to include more geographic regions. Twelve experts from around the globe will provide information on the research software initiatives, events and funding opportunities in their own geographic regions.

To date, ReSA has been supported to achieve its aims through USD$420,000 in philanthropic funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and Wellcome Trust. This has enabled outcomes across the three ReSA themes of people, policy and infrastructure, that include:

There are many ways to get involved with ReSA. In line with its mission, ReSA offers opportunities for community members representing multiple stakeholders to work together to achieve shared goals, which include:

  • Joining task forces focused on specific activities
  • Receiving updates through our regular newsletter
  • Helping to raise awareness of the importance of software in research through use of ReSA resources
  • Connecting with other community members at our events
  • Contributing ideas for task forces, events, newsletter items

ReSA welcomes and encourages participation by people of all backgrounds and identities, as described in its diversity statement.

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