ELIXIR facilitates collaboration between its partners through activities such as Implementation Studies. We also collaborate closely with other key European and global initiatives and many of the existing ESFRI Research Infrastructures and e-Infrastructures.
Active cooperation allows for the development of the technical architecture for the transfer, storage and re-use of data, and the global standards in data sharing. It also ensures that data management and Open Dara remain high on the agenda in science policy. ELIXIR currently collaborates with:
- European Strategy Forum on Research and Innovation (ESFRI)
- Research Data Alliance
- BioExcel CoE
European Strategy Forum on Research and Innovation (ESFRI)
In 2006 ESFRI, a body set up by 33 countries at the initiative of the European Council, identified 35 pan-European research infrastructures that are of key importance for the development of science and innovation. Among them, ELIXIR is one of very few in the ESFRI roadmap that is considered to be of global significance. In the latest ESFRI Roadmap (2016), ELIXIR is now clasified as a Landmark - a research infrastructure that reached its implementation phase by 2015.
The ESFRI process has identified 13 BMS research infrastructures – from biobanks to structural biology – that are developing in parallel. As these infrastructures either produce or use data that lie within ELIXIR’s remit, close co-operation and coordination will help to ensure seamless deposition, access and integration of their data.
The collaboration among the the biological and medical science Research Infrastructures on the ESFRI roadmap have been formalised in May 2015 when twelve BMS research infrastructures signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate through a new BMS Strategy Group. The EU-funded CORBEL grant provides in parallel a formal mechanism for the twelve RIs to collaborate on a scientific and technical basis.
ELIXIR and Euro-BioImaging have developed a joint image data strategy to support access to biological image data and link it to biomolecular data. Biological image data is a rapidly changing field and this collaboration strategy will be continuously updated as the collaboration deepens and user needs change over the years.
GOBLET: Global Organisation for Bioinformatics Learning, Education and Training
GOBLET is a global consortium of organisations and individuals to promote links and cooperation amongst trainers and trainees Bioinformatics, Biocomputing, Biocuration and Computational Biology (B3CB). It's objective is to provide a support and networking infrastructure for trainers and trainees in and to develop standards for B3CB education and training.
GOBLET and ELIXIR have formed a Joint Training Strategy, which sets out how the two initiatives will collaborate on bioinformatics training. Developed on behalf of ELIXIR by the Training Coordinator's Group (TrCG), the Strategy sets out the areas for collaboration, including:
- ELIXIR's emerging TeSS portal for training resources and GOBLET's training portal
- Collaboration on train-the-trainer and train-the-researcher activities, with first events planned for 2016
- Joint exploration of training 'accreditation' mechanisms
- Sharing of best practice and expertise on professionalising bioinformatics training
Research Data Alliance
The Research Data Alliance (RDA) is a global forum to enable open sharing of scientific data across disciplines, technologies and countries. The Alliance operates through a number of Working and Interest groups, formed by experts from academia, industry and governments across the globe. The topics are as diverse as data citation and data archiving and as specific as wheat data interoperability or metabolomics.
ELIXIR has established the ELIXIR Bridging Force Interest Group to connect ELIXIR with relevant RDA Interest and Working Groups, e.g. those on agricultural data, big data analysis, federated identity management, marine data, structural biology, toxicogenomics, and data publishing. A few examples of tasks of importance for life sciences are:
- Interoperability of different kinds of large-scale (“omics”) data
- Sustainability of life science data identifiers
- Mechanisms for secure access to sensitive data, including authorisation and authentication issues
- Strategies for data storage allowing for computationally intensive analyses
The ELIXIR Interest Group also works closely with the BioSharing Registry Working Group. The two groups regularly organise joint sessions to discuss and present the recent developments in life science data services. Most recently the groups met at the Fifth RDA Plenary meeting in San Diego, USA, in March 2015. The Sixth Plenary meeting took place in 23-25 September 2015 in Paris, France. ELIXIR Interest group and BioSharing Working group organised a joint session on sharing of sensitive data in life sciences.
BioExcel Center of Excellence for Biomolecular Research
BioExcel CoE provides the necessary solutions for long-term support of the biomolecular research communities in academia and industry: fast and scalable software, user-friendly automation workflows and a support base of expert core developers. The main services offered by the center include hands-on training, tailored customization of code, personalized consultancy support and community outreach activities.
ELIXIR has established a collaborative partnership with BioExcel CoE. The collaboration framework between ELIXIR and BioExcel includes work on the http://bio.tools database, with special care in the curation of the annotation of tools of the structural biology domain, the adoption of ELIXIR recommended specification in projects' API libraries and workflows, joint efforts towards adoption and performance evaluation of the common workflow language (CWL) in selected workflows, as well as joint webinar series.