National Research Data Programme – NRDP

The Case for Research Data

New Zealand invests over $1.4bn in publicly funded research every year, yet every year we fail to realise the full value of our investment. This is because we don’t connect or coordinate our investments in research data management; we don’t incentivise our researchers to train in digital research methods, and we often struggle to effectively manage the data our researchers produce. Most tellingly, we fail to connect our researchers to decisions in our economy and society that would benefit from better data management. eR2020 proposes that coordinated, sector-wide action on digital research and data can produce both direct and network benefits, and that these benefits can lift the return on the $1.4bn New Zealand invests publicly funded research each year.

We think the timing is right for an integrated national approach to research data. We can see new research leaders emerging, with new skills, in what is an ageing research sector workforce. We also observe that there’s wider economic and social demand for data enablement, higher digital standards for research publication, and that technology costs are falling.

Overall, we think stronger active links for research data to business R&D and public sector decision-making will contribute towards more impactful research, and may lift digital enablement in our society and the economy of New Zealand. This, along with strong support for researcher data skills and better data management in research institutions, can begin to recoup some of the estimated $392m pa of unrealised value of data in the research sector.

Executive Summary: the challenge for research data in NZ

About eR2020

eResearch 2020 is a future-oriented national programme that develops strategy with thought leaders across the research sector and aims to assemble a comprehensive vision of researcher needs and essential skills over the coming decade. eResearch 2020 is led by NeSI, REANNZ and NZGL as co-patrons, together taking a combined approach to facilitating national discussions.

Fundamentally cross-institutional and cross- discipline, eResearch 2020 brings researchers together to focus on particular themes, be it on research sector cloud strategies; skills gaps; institutional governance, research capabilities, or the infrastructure needs of the National Science Challenges and the Centres of Research Excellence.

The proposed National Research Data Programme has been developed through eResearch 2020 national workshops in April and June 2014, and in July 2015, as well as through the eR2020 Interview Series ( and the 2015 discussion document “eResearch Challenges in New Zealand”.