How many life science databases are there in Europe?
The bioinformatics landscape in Europe today is fragmented, with roughly 200 established life science databases being maintained with different levels of support in over 100 institutes. Although approximately 85% of these can be accessed without charge, funding is variable. Only 6.5% of these had assured support for a period of five years or longer.
To make the most of these resources, ELIXIR is working to build bioinformatics capacity locally by establishing a robust, sustainable and distributed infrastructure throughout Europe.
ELIXIR invited 531 database providers to participate in a survey, and 208 of them completed it. As shown in the figure, approximately 85% of the databases run by the respondents can currently be accessed free of charge. Funding is predominantly institutional (49%), followed by national (38%) and European (36%). When asked about funding duration, 66% of respondents indicated that they had funding of one year or shorter. Only 6.5% had funding of five years or longer.