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ELIXIR accelerates with major Horizon 2020 funding


Mon, 11/05/2015 - 15:48

ELIXIR accelerates with major Horizon 2020 funding

  • The Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona, which leads the European Genome-Phenome Archive - EGA database, participates in this project through the Spanish node of Elixir.
  • The new Horizon 2020 project will contribute to improve the international networking and training of the Elixir members, to develop new methods and research projects, as well as to successfully implement the EGA database.

The European life-science infrastructure for biological information, ELIXIR has been awarded €19 million from the EU to accelerate the implementation of Europe’s life-science data infrastructure over the next four years. From September 2015, ‘ELIXIR-EXCELERATE’ will facilitate the integration of Europe’s bioinformatics resources, supporting all sectors of life-science R&D. It will deliver excellence to ELIXIR’s users by fast-tracking the development and deployment of essential data services.

EXCELERATE funding will help ELIXIR coordinate and extend national and international data resources to ensure the delivery of world-leading life-science data services. It will support a pan-European training programme, anchored in national infrastructures, to increase bioinformatics capacity and competency. It will also provide efficiencies in management and operation throughout the infrastructure, which is distributed amongst 17 countries. Luis Serrano, CRG director says, “Now, all the partnering institutions and countries will be able to improve their national nodes and infrastructures for a better service and data access. It will have an effect on new and outstanding biomedical research projects throughout Europe.” Also, Arcadi Navarro, EGA team leader at the CRG adds, "ELIXIR is crucial for biomedical research projects and this new EU funding will definitively contribute to the integration of the EGA database to the Elixir infrastructure".

ELIXIR Director Niklas Blomberg says, “I am delighted that the EU is supporting this high-impact project. In the age of big data, it is critical that we can all make the most of the bioinformatics capacity that has been developed in each of our member states. This will make a difference to Europe's 500,000 life-science researchers, who need public research data to be managed well over the long term so it can be reused to maximum effect. EXCELERATE will bring about a step change in how bioinformatics services are coordinated across Europe, ensuring they are integrated, grow in step with the advent of new technologies, and maintained appropriately over the long term.

Dedicated use cases, defined in close partnership with diverse research communities, will help ELIXIR grow in keeping with the needs of scientists working on rare diseases, biomedical and human genomics, marine and plant sciences and other specialized areas. This will ensure that ELIXIR’s services for data, tools, interoperability, compute, training and industry support are rooted in user needs, and can deliver benefits to existing and future research projects.

At Spanish level, the National Institute of Bioinformatics (INB-ISCIII) is the node composed by several Spanish research institutes that participates in this project with a total funding of 1.5 M€. The Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) coordinates this node, which includes the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), the IRB Barcelona, the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), the University Pompeu Fabra (UPF) and the National Center of Genomic Analysis (CNAG).  Spain is one of the countries participating in more work packages of this project, such as methods evaluation, rare-disease research project computational infrastructure and, implementation of the European Genome-phenome Archive (EGA), a genome database partially funded by "la Caixa" Foundation.

ELIXIR was invited to apply to a dedicated call within Horizon 2020 following the ESFRI and European Council decision in 2014 to categorize ELIXIR as one of Europe’s three priority new Research Infrastructures. ELIXIR-EXCELERATE represents ELIXIR’s submission to this Call.
Partners include the following organisations, listed alphabetically by country:

  • Belgium
    • Vlaamse Instituut voor Biotechnologie (VIB)
  • Czech Republic
    • Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry
    • Masaryk University
    • CESNET
  • Demark
    • Danish Technical University
  • Estonia
    • Tartu University
  • France
    • CNRS
    • INRA
    • Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD)
    • Institute Pasteur
  • Finland
    • CSC
  • Greece
    • Alexander Fleming Institute
    • FORTH
    • Athena RIC
  • Israel
    • Hebrew University of Jerusalem (IL)
  • Italy
    • CNR
  • The Netherlands
    • Netherlands Bioinformatics Centre
  • Portugal
    • Gulbenkian Foundation
    • INESC ID Lisbon
    • Instituto de Biologia Experiment al e Tecnologica (iBET)
    • Centre of Marine Sciences (CCMAR)
  • Spain
    • Spanish National Research Centre (CNIO) Carlos III
    • Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG)
    • Centro de Investigacion Principe Felipe
    • Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)
    • University of Malaga
    • Barcelona Supercomputing Center
    • Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)
    • Pompeu Fabra University
    • Parc Cientific de Barcelona
    • Fundacio Institut mar d’Investigacions Mediques (IMIM)
  • Norway
    • University of Bergen
    • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
    • University of Tromso
    • University of Oslo
  • Slovenia
    • University of Ljubljana
    • National institute of Biology
  • Sweden
    • Linköpings University
  • Switzerland
    • SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics
  • United Kingdom
    • University of Oxford
    • The Genome Analysis Centre
    • University of Manchester
    • The European Molecular Biology Laboratory European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI)

ELIXIR, the European life-science infrastructure for biological information, is a unique and unprecedented initiative that consolidates Europe’s national centres, services, and core bioinformatics resources into a single, coordinated infrastructure.
ELIXIR brings together Europe’s major life-science data archives and, for the first time, connects these with national bioinformatics infrastructures throughout ELIXIR’s member states. By coordinating local, national and international resources the ELIXIR infrastructure will meet the data-related needs of Europe’s 500,000 life-scientists. ELIXIR supports users addressing the Grand Challenges in diverse domains ranging from marine research via plants and agriculture to health research and medical sciences.