Ireland today became the latest country to join ELIXIR, following the ratification of the ELIXIR Consortium Agreement by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. ELIXIR’s Membership now stands at 19, and set to expand further in coming months when Germany becomes a Member.
Prof Mark Ferguson, Director General, Science Foundation Ireland and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government, said “Membership of ELIXIR will allow for the leveraging and safeguarding of national investment in biological research by ensuring that data are safely stored, integrated and openly accessed by everyone through sustained set of core resources.
"Important new discoveries will occur from the scientific analysis of these large aggregated 'Big Data' sets, which in turn will lead to new products to improved health, agriculture and the environment. Membership will enhance opportunities for Irish based researchers to compete for further competitive EU Horizon 2020 funding and create beneficial European collaborations.”
The ELIXIR Node in Ireland is currently under development and will bring together several leading centres and institutes. The Node will focus on the functional interpretation of genomes in particular for personalised medicine, including bioinformatics annotation and algorithms for genomic sequence and proteomics data and computational modeling of diseases and personal patient stratification. It will also focus on data integration between different types of –omics data and between molecular and phenotypical datasets for the reconstruction of biological networks.
Dr Niklas Blomberg, Director of ELIXIR said, “I am delighted that Ireland has progressed to become a full Member in ELIXIR, and I look forward to working with the Irish community to fully integrate the Node into ELIXIR’s activities. Ireland’s expertise in bioinformatics, systems biology and data analysis will benefit both the local research community in Ireland and the wider life science community across Europe.”