Data utilization concept and data infrastructure for social and natural science data sets of the Federal Environment Agency

The Federal Environment Agency is the federal government’s central environmental authority and also a research institution. It advises politicians, informs the public, works with federal and state authorities as well as international institutions and conducts scientific research on environmental law issues. In performing these tasks, the Federal Environment Agency collects and processes a wide range of data from various sources: It collects and analyzes environmental data itself, awards research contracts to scientists and research institutes such as the UfU and receives and processes data from various authorities at federal and state level. The type of data is also diverse and includes measurement data, documents, statistics, images, etc.

The data available at the Federal Environment Agency is of great value – both for the (scientific) work of the institute itself and for scientists and citizens who deal with environmental issues. However, this value can only be fully realized if the Federal Environment Agency’s data can be easily found and processed by its employees and external parties. In its 2015 statement on the Federal Environment Agency, the German Council of Science and Humanities therefore recommended: “As part of a research strategy, it is necessary to develop a data use concept that also includes the possibilities for systematic data use by external scientists.” This is precisely the task of this research project.

As a subcontractor, UfU is involved in the assessment and development of a data usage concept. This is because the management, internal and external provision and use of data raises a number of legal issues. In particular, data protection and copyright requirements must be observed when using and passing on databases. However, there are also publication obligations and obligations to disclose data (open data and freedom of information law). It must therefore be ensured that the relevant legal requirements are taken into account when developing the data usage concept and its subsequent implementation. One focus is on the definition of usage classes and license types.

The project is funded by the Federal Environment Agency from the Federal Environment Ministry ‘s departmental research plan.

12/2019 – 12/2022

Cooperation partner
con terra GmbH

Supported by:
Federal Environment Agency

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Contact us
Tom Witschas(