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WDS International Programme Office Inauguration in Tokyo

WDS International Programme Office Inauguration in Tokyo

On 9 May 2012, the ICSU World Data System (ICSU-WDS) inaugurated its new International Programme Office (WDS-IPO) hosted by the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) in Tokyo, Japan. An official ceremony was held to mark the occasion in the presence of the Hon. Tatsuo Kawabata (Japanese Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications) and Prof. Yuan Tseh-Lee (President of the International Council for Science (ICSU)).

Among the dignitaries attending the official ceremony were the Hon. Mieko Kamimoto (Vice-minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology), Dr. Hideo Miyahara (President of NICT) Dr. Takashi Onishi (President of the Science Council of Japan), and Dr. Steven Wilson (Executive Director of ICSU).

The WDS-IPO will establish and coordinate the daily operations of ICSU-WDS, and take responsibility for outreach. It will act under the guidance of the WDS Scientific Committee—leading scientists working on scientific data issues. The first Executive Director of ICSU-WDS is Dr. Mustapha Mokrane, who will head the IPO.

ICSU-WDS builds on the 50-year legacy of ICSU's World Data Centres and Federation of Astronomical and Geophysical data-analysis Services. It seeks to realize the potential offered by advanced interconnections between data management components to foster disciplinary and multidisciplinary applications for the benefit of the international scientific community and other stakeholders. WDS is striving to become a worldwide 'community of excellence' for stewardship and provision of scientific data.

Society was increasingly calling on science to help solve highly complex and interconnected problems like climate change and sustainable development. However this required that science itself, including data, become more integrated and global, said ICSU President Lee; adding that, the vision of the World Data System is to transform today's collection of data bodies into an integrated and interoperable system.