Why we need ELIXIR
The cost of storing and managing experimental data represents a very small fraction of the overall cost of research.
For example, structural biology experiments cost approximately 800 million euros a year, but it costs less than 8 million euros to run the worldwide archive of all macromolecular structures – and to integrate it with other data resources. Comprehensive databases like these bring tremendous advantages to individual researchers, and help form new partnerships and communities.
Failure to build a realistic infrastructure for biological information will come at a cost hundreds of times higher than whatever ELIXIR may cost. For example:
- If data disappear, experiments will have to be re-run.
- If there is no place to centrally store the data, researchers will not be aware of it and may repeat experiments.
A sound biological data infrastructure is probably the best – and cheapest – insurance policy any government or agency can make to ensure continued benefits from its investments in research.