HEFE – Heterogeneous Research Data in the Urban Context: Governance for Analysis, Planning and Real-Time Data

Completed Project


In everyday research, triggered by digitization, large amounts of heterogeneous research data are produced. Scientists are faced with the challenge of dealing adequately with this data. Diverse quality requirements of the funding agencies must be taken into account. These are legal requirements (e.g. data protection), compliance requirements (e.g. open access, open access to publications and data) or requirements for the reusability of the data (e.g. the FAIR principles - Findable Accessible Interoperable Reusable).

The concept of data excellence goes beyond data quality. This does not refer to the data itself, but to the organization in which the data is created. Science organizations are faced with the challenge of taking measures to ensure their data excellence.



The goal of the HEFE project is to meet the challenges described above in relation to the creation of data excellence. To this end, it adapts the »data governance« approach from the economic context for research organizations. Data governance is a system of rules and processes for controlling data management. The data governance is strategically anchored in the respective institution and defines roles and processes for data quality measurement and for the creation and maintenance of data sets. Requirements for data confidentiality in an industrial context, for simple data processing and for transparency in the context of Open Science can thus be efficiently met. Data governance relieves scientists from the increasingly complex demands of our time. That was exactly the goal – to meet the challenges of data management through data governance.


Role of Fraunhofer IRB

The Fraunhofer IRB has carried out workshops on data-based business models in cooperation with scientists in order to show ways of using generated research data with strategic partners. The Fraunhofer IRB was able to contribute its expertise in the field of research data management to the development of the organizational structure and data management of data governance. In particular, a workflow for data management within an organization was defined. The Fraunhofer IRB was involved in testing data governance at Fraunhofer IAO in various committees, such as the HEFE Advisory Board.



In the HEFE project, it was finally possible to develop initial approaches for data-based business models using the example of »city data«. Thorugh interviews, the data management in research areas close to the city was examined at Fraunhofer IAO. The data governance reference model was adapted to the institute and tested on a pilot basis. In this context, support offers for scientists, such as checklists for creating different types of data or a data protection kit, have been created.