The Road to GRDI2020

An evolutionary path: from GRL2020 to GRDI2020

GRL2020 (Global Research Libraries 2020) is a highly successful initiative sponsored by Microsoft Research with the support of high profile members of the community to identify areas where collective leadership can have the greatest impact. Workshops on three continents have brought together leading figures from Asia, Europe, Japan, China, India, Canada, Australia and U.S. with the support of European Commission and the National Science Foundation (U.S.) delivering insights and sharing knowledge on how research libraries should be shaped to meet the needs of current and future generation.


The inaugural GRL2020 (GRL2020 US, 2007) workshop was held in Woodinville, Washington USA on September 30 through 2 October, 2007. Participants largely agreed on various core value propositions for the Global Research Library. It was widely acknowledged in the GRL2020 discussions that the global research library of the future will be an interoperable network of services, resources, and expertise designed to facilitate the process of research and the selecting, sharing, and sustaining of the outputs of research.

After the success of GRL2010 USA, on the 27-28 March 2008, Pisa (Italy) has provided the scenario for the 2nd GRL2020 Workshop (GRL2020 Europe, 2008). In developing this workshop, Microsoft Research and CNR-ISTI have been instrumental in fostering a vision for Global research Libraries and in identifying major actors in the arena of Digital Libraries around the world. The 2nd Workshop was attended by 45 of the world’s most highly regarded experts, featured presentations from Lucy Nowell, US National Science Foundation (NSF); Carlos Morais-Pires, European Commission; talks on the future role and needs of the research library; case studies and best practices; discussions dedicated to user perspectives; technology and organisers, as well as an interactive debate centred on top-level challenges and objectives to realise the vision for GRL2020.

GRL2020 Asia (GRL2020 Asia, 2009) was the third of a successful series of Workshops. It aimed at defining a research environment that enables collaborative work across disciplines, professions and geographical boundaries. The TELDAP International Conference provided both a backdrop and forum for the Taipei Workshop, which welcomed 35 of some of the world’s most highly regarded experts in the area of research libraries and scientific data archives. These experts showcased best practices, case studies and pioneering work that is furthering the innovative approaches fostered by GRL2020. All participants made valuable contributions to the interactive discussions, developing the GRL2020 research agenda and charting a course that clearly defines next steps. A distinguished group of experts formed the Programme Committee spearheading thought leadership and driving the workshop that placed much emphasis on a Call for Action to address the challenges and issues surrounding the GRL2020 vision.

On year on, February 2010, we bear witness to the launch of GRDI2020 (Global Research Data Infrastructures 2020).


The fourth workshop of the GRL2020 series, GRL2020 Africa, will be held in collaboration with the GRDI2020 project. The workshop, co-located with CODATA 22, will be held on 23-24 October 2010, in Stellenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa. For more information on the workshop please visit this link.

Visit website for more information on GRL2020 mission and events.