Germany recently became the latest country to join ELIXIR, following the ratification of the ELIXIR Consortium Agreement by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF).
The goal of ELIXIR is the collection, quality control and archiving of large amounts of biological data produced by experiments in life science. Due to the complexity and specialised nature of much of this research data it has previously not been shared outside of the research teams which created it. However, ELIXIR is creating an information infrastructure that will integrate research data from all corners of Europe and ensure access to all.
By joining ELIXIR, the BMBF will increase the visibility and competitiveness of German research.
Federal Research Minister, Professor Johanna Wanka, noted:
“Better exploitation of big data in the life sciences is essential in strengthening our health system for the future. We can speed up the development of new medicines and treatments for diseases by improving the smart integration of data from biomedical research.”
In Germany, the ELIXIR node will be run by de.NBI (the German Network for Bioinformatics Infrastructure) which was established to coordinate bioinformatics across Germany. de.NBI is coordinated from Bielefeld University and includes over twenty partner institutes across Germany.
ELIXIR’s Membership now stands at 20 (19 European countries and EMBL as an intergovernmental organisation). Germany is the fifth country to join ELIXIR in 2016, following Italy, Slovenia, Ireland and Luxembourg.
ELIXIR partners are building an intelligent, responsive and sustainable system that will help to provide widespread progress in research by quickly making available critical datasets.
Photo credit: “www.elixir-europe.org”. Material used in the preparation of this article has been drawn from ELIXIR.