ELIXIR: life sciences data across public and private sectors
Dr Niklas Blomberg, Director, ELIXIR
ELIXIR, the European life-science infrastructure for biological information, is a unique initiative that consolidates national life-science data centres, services, and core bioinformatics resources into a single, coordinated infrastructure.
What is ELIXIR?
ELIXIR, a research infrastructure founded by 15 European countries and EMBL-EBI, has been formed to orchestrate the collection, quality control and archiving of large amounts of biological data produced by life science experiments. ELIXIR connects the major life-science data archives (hosted at EMBL-EBI) with national bioinformatics infrastructures throughout ELIXIR’s member states. By coordinating local, national and international resources —hosted at more than 120 institutes —the ELIXIR infrastructure will meet the data-related needs of Europe’s 500,000 life-scientists.
Data, Computing and Services to Communities
Open access to bioinformatics resources provides a valuable path to discovery. ELIXIR is identifying core data resources that are essential to the larger international community and is developing a robust framework to secure their long-term sustainability and accessibility. Some of these datasets are highly specialised and would previously only have been available to researchers within the country/state in which they were generated.
The challenges in storing, integrating and analysing the data from modern biological experiments needs a coordinated effort that involves both national and international resources. ELIXIR is currently constructing a distributed e‐infrastructure of bioinformatics services —a data nodes network—built around established European centres of excellence. This talk will discuss our approaches to handling, analysing and archiving large and also highly diverse data‐sets. Furthermore the talk will discuss experiences in data integration and the need for establishing data management plans within projects that address the issues of metadata annotation and long-term archiving.
Dr Blomberg joined ELIXIR as the founding Director in 2013 following 14 years in the pharmaceutical industry with AstraZeneca, Sweden. He led the global cheminformatics unit from 2006–2011, and in 2011–2013 led the build of a new computational biology / computational chemistry unit for the AZ inflammatory research area.
He has been the chairman of the board for Bioinformatics Infrastructure for Life Sciences (BILS), chair of the advisory board for the Swedish e-Science for Cancer Prevention and Control project (eCPC), advisory board member for the Swedish e-Science Research Centre (SeRC) and the eTRIKS IMI project (European Translational Information and Knowledge Management Services Innovative Medicines Initiative).
He was industry co‐chair for IMI Open PHACTS, a project with 24 industrial and academic partners to develop standards and infrastructure for effective data interoperability across chemistry and biology.
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