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GO FAIR partners initially formed the first Implementation Networks entirely based on the peceived need to jointly develop standards, best practices, and implementation strategies for their own key domain.

In May 2017, the Secretaries of State for Science and Technology in the Netherlands and Germany took the initiative to present GO FAIR as a rapid implementation strategy in which also countries, rather than just institutes and individuals, can participate. This induced the early need to rethink a governance structure that would not interfere with the bottom up, community driven growth of an open ecosystem of implementation networks and would also enable European commitment and governance as well as being open to all countries outside the European Union. France joined the initiative early on and on 28 August 2017 an inaugural meeting in Bonn (Germany) concluded with the mandating of four ‘quartermasters’ to set up the early governance and determine a final version of the Rules of Engagement for GO FAIR.