Commission on IT Infrastructure
The Commission on IT Infrastructure is a subcommittee of the Joint Committee of the DFG and, in this function, evaluates the results of reviews of proposals for major instrumentation that contain IT systems from the general research funding programmes of the DFG as well as from the “Forschungsgroßgeräte” (Major Research Instrumentation) and the “Großgeräte der Länder” (State Major Instrumentation) programmes with respect to technical, methodical and fundamental criteria.
For the major instrumentation funded by the DFG and for the proposals in the “Major Research Instrumentation” programme, the commission makes suggestions for the final decisions by the DFG’s Joint Committee. For proposals in the “State Major Instrumentation” programme, it formulates final recommendations on instrumentation purchases on behalf of the states and universities. The commission addresses fundamental questions of IT equipment for universities and clinics and makes recommendations on overall IT concepts, IT installations and networking concepts.
The commission is currently made up of 10 members who are elected by the DFG’s Joint Committee for a four-year term in office.
Publication and further Information
The DFG's Commission on IT Infrastructure regularly publishes recommendations on the planning and operation of IT infrastructure at universities and university hospitals. The most recent recommendations were published in October 2010 for the period 2011 to 2015. The Commission has now published an addendum relating to the use of cloud services. The members of the Commission considered this subject to be too current and important to wait until the next set of recommendations for the period 2016 to 2020.
On its study tour to the USA in March 2013, the Commission on IT Infrastructure (KfR) of the German Research Foundation (DFG) gained helpful insights into current developments in selected areas of IT infrastructures at renowned research laboratories and universities as well as into the IT trends envisioned by the IT industry and into the IT funding schemes of the respective national funding agencies. Topics of interest focused on cloud services, IT governance, Computational Science and Engineering (CSE), High Performance Computing and Big Data. The report summarizes key findings and proposes concrete recommendations.
In the recent years, the Commission on IT Infrastructure (KfR) of the German Research Foundation (DFG) went on study tours to the USA and Asia to gain insights into the latest developments in IT infrastructures at renowned research laboratories and universities as well as into the IT trends envisioned by the IT industry and into the IT funding schemes of the respective national funding agencies. In this fruitful tradition, the KfR chose the USA as the destination of its most recent study tour for the second time after 2005. A broad spectrum of institutions were visited from March 20 until April 2, 2011, with a topical emphasis on the IT at universities, in university hospitals and medical research, on (super-) computing centers and grids, on IT funding bodies, and on the IT industries.
In recent decades, information technology has been among the fastest growing research disciplines and industries in Israel. Highly efficient hardware and software companies invest substantially in R&D. Against this backdrop, the DFG’s Commission on IT Infrastructure (KfR) took an information trip to selected locations in Israel in March 2009. The main areas of interest were information technology (IT) at universities, high-performance computing (HPC), medical information technology, industrial activities in the IT sector and general trends in research and instruction at the university level.
Nearly ten years ago, it became clear from the reviews by the DFG’s Commission on Computer Systems, which is today the Commission on IT Infrastructure, that the traditional division of information technology into locally compartmentalised computer centres no longer met the requirements of the times. The DFG then held a competition for future concepts. This led to announcements for integrated information management, ultimately with four funded projects. Following a funding period of several years—during which integrated information management was acknowledged as a key topic at nearly all universities—questions are now being raised as to what suitable solution concepts might look like. In a “Best Practice Workshop”, reports were given on the experiences from these projects. In subsequent presentations, experiences were relayed as to how integration in university medicine succeeds and what meaning the new Grid resource centres have in integrated information management. On the one hand, the IT Commission of the DFG used the workshop to take inventory of the current situation. On the other hand, the commission was able to offer a forum for exchanging results and experiences from the German universities in the sense of “best practices”.
Best Practice Workshop, Georg August Universität Göttingen, 14 October 2008
- Link to pdf integraTUM Technische Universität München (Bode) (PDF | 1,5 MB)
- Link to pdf i³ – sic!* Lessons Learned Universität Oldenburg (Wätjen) (PDF | 276 KB)
- Link to pdf IT Servicezentrum Universität Augsburg (Loidl) (PDF | 631 KB)
- Link to pdf MIRO Universität Münster (Vogl) (PDF | 1,5 MB)
- Link to pdf Integriertes Informationsmanagement (KIM) Universität Karlsruhe (Juling) (PDF | 3,7 MB)
- Link to pdf Gö* Univ. Göttingen Kooperation Uni-Medizin-Bibliothek (Schumann) (PDF | 892 KB)
- Link to pdf D-Grid TU Dortmund Ressourcenzentren (Schwiegelshohn) (PDF | 81 KB)
In late fall 2007, the DFG’s Commission on IT Infrastructure took a study tour to selected locations in South and Southeast Asia. Main areas of interest were IT at universities, high-performance computing, medical information technology, industrial activities in the IT sector, outsourcing and offshoring of IT and general trends in research and instruction at the university level.