ELIXIR accelerates with major Horizon 2020 funding
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. The University of Tartu is the only partner in ELIXIR from Estonia.
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.
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 are maintained appropriately over the long term.”
Estonian member in the ELIXIR Heads of Nodes Committee, Professor of Bioinformatics of the University of Tartu Academician Jaak Vilo says that the University of Tartu represents the Estonian ELIXIR consortium, which is also an object of the Estonian research infrastructures roadmap.
“Estonian participation in the ELIXIR network as a full member and the first major joint infrastructure funding EXCELERATE prove the bioinformatics capacity of Estonia. Despite its small size, Estonia is able to contribute to the development of software, databases, standards and training of international significance,” says Vilo.
Vilo adds that the researchers of almost all fields of life sciences use the solutions created by bioinformaticians, “Thus ELIXIR has a great impact on a very broad research community.”
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 specialised 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.
Read more about ELIXIR http://www.ut.ee/en/service/elixir.
Additional information: Jaak Vilo, Estonian member in the ELIXIR Heads of Nodes Committee, UT Professor of Bioinformatics, Academician, tel: +372 504 9365, email: jaak.vilo [ät] ut.ee.