What are people saying about ELIXIR?

ELIXIR is recognised to be vital to the future of life science in Europe by some of the most brilliant and influential scientists of our time, working in disciplines that range from fundamental, curiosity-driven biology through translational, clinical and agricultural research.

Douglas Kell, BBSRC for ELIXIR"High-throughput biology is a disruptive technology: computer storage and processor capacity double steadily every couple of years, whereas new biological data are doubling every five months or so - and this rate is increasing. Without significant investment in bioinformatics services, network bandwidth, compute, interoperability standards and training throughout Europe, we will rapidly lose the capacity to provide the research community with access to the treasure trove of public data in the life sciences. BBSRC strongly supports and recognises this, and is very eager to assist in making ELIXIR a successful response to the informatics opportunities as part of Open Science. A particular area is the need to make genomics and bioinformatics data in the agri-food sector available, as part of our contribution to the need for ensuring Global Food Security." — Professor Douglas Kell, CEO, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, on behalf of the UK Research Councils


Ron Appel, SIB''In Switzerland, bioinformatics is already well structured and coordinated. However, the international impact of our bioinformatics resources requires that we look beyond our Swiss boundaries. ELIXIR will guarantee the necessary European-wide coordination of the bioinformatics infrastructure. It is paramount for the bioinformatics community to join its strengths and expertise. I hope that the ELIXIR Member States will provide the required resources to support this important initiative, which will underpin improvements in health and general well-being.'' — Professor Ron Appel, Executive Director, SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics

Paul Nurse for ELIXIR "Open access to the genomes of well characterised organisms, such as those of yeast, fruit fly and mouse, is crucial for biomedical research. ELIXIR will ensure that the genomes of these organisms remain in the public domain and continue to be well maintained and integrated with other information sources, for the benefit of biomedical research and of society as a whole." — Sir Paul Nurse, President, The Royal Society



Mike Stratton c Wellcome Library"Over the next few years, our group at the Sanger Institute, and others around the globe as part of the International Cancer Genome Consortium, will be generating high coverage DNA sequences of more than 25,000 cancers. The data storage and analytic challenges of this project alone threaten to overwhelm the world’s data repositories. However, for this project to yield its full benefits, scientists over decades will need to continue their analyses of all these data together. This will require major advances in data infrastructure and stability of these structures over long time-frames. The advent of ELIXIR is recognition of the pressing importance of these issues for the future of biomedical sciences."— Professor Mike Stratton, Director, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Sir John Sulston"One of Europe’s greatest challenges in the future will be managing the interpretation of personal genomic data; it is unlikely that personal genome sequences will cross national boundaries, but every nation’s health system will need the expertise to interpret it and treat patients accordingly. ELIXIR will enable this expertise to be distributed throughout Europe."— Professor Sir John Sulston, Founding Director, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Gert van Ommen for ELIXIR"As co-initiator of BBMRI, the biobanking research infrastructure in Europe, and leader of CMSB, a Dutch Genome centre, I am closely familiar with the complex issues of facilitating access to state-of-the-art bioinformatics research tools in the life sciences, and supporting and connecting the many different user communities. From my perspective, the timing of ELIXIR is right. The creation of societal value from all the data sources created by the key life science technologies cannot do without a well coordinated and distributed research infrastructure for 'data' in general and for bioinformatics and secure data sharing in particular." — Professor Dr Gert-Jan B. van Ommen, Head Department of Human Genetics and Director of BBMRI-NL, Leiden University Medical Centre

Mark Walport c Wellcome Library"It is vitally important for Europe that significant investment in bioinformatics is given the highest priority. Investment in bioinformatics services is critical, and will enable scientists to use the vast amounts of high-quality data being produced through funding from governmental agencies as well as from organisations like the Wellcome Trust."— Sir Mark Walport, Government Chief Scientific Adviser, United Kingdom

Mark Forster Syngenta"The ELIXIR project will shape the future of Europe's open access to life science bio-molecular data. The benefits to industry should manifest themselves in many ways, primarily by reducing duplication of effort across many industrial research groups. A stable and scalable research infrastructure will boost the so called 'knowledge economy' in Europe. At an individual company level, the ability to integrate and cross query public and private data enables industry to maximise the value already invested in R&D data generation, and to support decision making in future research projects." — Dr Mark Forster, Syngenta, Member of the EMBL-EBI Industry Programme