Sharing research data can open the door to boundless knowledge. But finding the key isn’t always so simple.
With a clear understanding of Open Research Data (ORD)’s pivotal role in achieving scientific excellence, Switzerland has crafted an ambitious national strategy dedicated to unlocking its full potential. These efforts are spearheaded by the National ORD Strategy Council, a new governing body in charge of ORD.

Empowering the future of research through ORD

Open Research Data (ORD) refers to the practice of making scientific data freely accessible to everyone while sustaining essential security considerations.

Sharing data fosters greater knowledge dissemination across scientific domains, paving the way for transparent, collaborative, and impactful scientific endeavors.

The global push towards ORD is revolutionizing the scientific landscape, bridging gaps in science, technology, and innovation while upholding the fundamental human right to access and contribute to scientific advancements.

On a national scale, though many institutions in Switzerland have developed ORD policies and infrastructures, researchers still lack a cohesive, efficient ORD ecosystem.

The National ORD Strategy Council (StraCo) was created to overcome this fragmentation. Given our country’s rich diversity of scientific communities and practices, we strongly believe that a coordinated, strategic approach to developing ORD is key to groundbreaking scientific advancements.

A new, coordinated approach

In July 2021, Switzerland’s major players in scientific research—the ETH Domain, the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, the SNSF and swissuniversities—jointly introduced the National ORD Strategy. This collaboration continues through the ORD Strategy Council, a new governance entity uniting the senior office holders of these institutions in an unprecedented setup.

Their mission is to support the development of a strategic, coordinated, and consolidated ecosystem of ORD infrastructures and services, and to function as a catalyst, fostering a common vision for the future of ORD in Switzerland.




guiding principles

  • Upholding FAIR principles

    Research data should embody the FAIR principles—Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable. These principles drive effective data management, optimizing utilization and sharing.

  • Considering openness as part of good research practice

    Openness is both a prerequisite and a means of supporting high-quality research. It promotes transparency, amplifies the effectiveness of the research process, and allows for better reproducibility of results.

  • Understanding that data should be as open as possible, as protected as necessary

    With the interest of research communities in mind and to facilitate cooperation with industry, access to data should take data protection obligations and ethical and regulatory requirements into account.

  • Recognising the value of data

    As science becomes more and more data-intensive, across more and more disciplines, Switzerland’s scientific competitiveness hinges on providing researchers with access to world-class digital infrastructures that support ORD.

  • Respecting disciplinary diversity

    Research spans diverse fields and communities, each with unique cultures and contexts. Researchers must have the flexibility to adapt ORD practices to fit their academic community— there’s no one-size-fits-all approach.

  • Supporting connection to national and international ecosystems

    Switzerland is no island. We must ensure the interoperability of existing and emerging infrastructures and organisations, such as the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), and compliance with relevant legal frameworks at the national and international levels.

  • Pursuing a sustainable approach

    ORD services and infrastructures of national relevance must be sustainable across financial, scientific, social, and ecological aspects.


JAN 2020
JUL 2021
JAN 2022
SEP 2022
JAN 2023
SEP 2023
JAN 2024
FEB 2024
JULY 2024

January 2020

The State Secretariat for Education, Research, and Innovation (SERI) recognizes the need for a strategic and unified approach for ORD and digital infrastructures, tasking swissuniversities with developing a Swiss National Open Research Data Strategy and Action Plan.

July 2021

The ETH Domain, the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, the SNSF and swissuniversities jointly release the Swiss National ORD Strategy, offering a framework for ORD advancement in Switzerland and for the governance of infrastructures and services supporting researchers.

January 2022

The National ORD Action Plan is published, embodying the principles of “Different actors, different actions, same goals”, with each partner institution being responsible for selected action lines. The National ORD Strategy Council (StraCo) is formed to lead its implementation.

The StraCo meets for the first time. This new high-level entity is composed of senior officeholders from partner institutions. A Coordination Group (CoG) is set up to support its work.

September 2022

The first Task Force is launched to investigate the ORD landscape within the Health and Life Science cluster and provide the basis for StraCo to develop strategic options aimed at advancing ORD within each specific cluster.

January 2023

The Sounding Board Researchers meets for the first time. Its role is to facilitate the deliberations and decisions of the StraCo by acknowledging and accommodating the needs and experiences of experts.

September 2023

The Sounding Board Service Providers meets for the first time. Its role is to facilitate the deliberations and decisions of the StraCo by providing expertise and bringing together specialists from service providers involved in the operational implementation and provision of ORD services.

January 2024

The Task Force of Cluster 2 “Social Sciences and Humanities” meets for the first time.

February 2024

The Task Force of Cluster 1 “Health and Life Science Data” publishes its final report (updated in July 2024), which serves as a basis for the StraCo to formulate strategic options for the development of the cluster.

July 2024

The Task Force of Cluster 1 “Health and Life Science Data” publishes an update of its final report (first published in February 2024), following feedback from stakeholders.

A Working Group uses this material to develop strategic orientations for the development of the cluster (the “HLS Blueprint”).

What’s in it for me?

Whether you are a researcher, a science administrator, or a service provider, the efforts of StraCo are tailored to make a meaningful impact on the ORD ecosystem that resonates with your specific role.

For researchers and research-producing institutions:

  • Enjoy better ORD services and infrastructures, to help you work with data more efficiently – be it your own, or that of others.
  • Have a voice in the national conversation through the Sounding Board Researchers.

For science administrators and policymakers:

  • Transition from complex infrastructures to more efficient and future-proof frameworks.
  • Make well-informed decisions regarding the allocation of research funding.
  • Benefit from a facilitated collaboration among Education, Research and Innovation (ERI) institutions and organizations

For service providers:

  • Refer to best practices and standards endorsed by the ERI actors
  • Participate in the conversation through the Sounding Board Service Providers