Funding models for knowledge bases – Towards a sustainable funding model for the UniprotKB/Swiss-Prot use case

The long-term sustainability of the databases within ELIXIR is a constant concern for those who are managing them, with only a very small minority having secured funding over 5 years or more. The NIH grant that is currently funding a large proportion of UniprotKB/Swiss-Prot is guaranteed until 2018. At the same time, millions of life science users in Europe and beyond rely on these resources for their everyday research. 

The aim of this Implementation Study is to review sustainable funding models for knowledge bases (Academic, Commercial or third party), with UniprotKB/Swiss-Prot as a specific use case. Consideration was given to a number of approaches, all of which would need to meet certain criteria: 

  • Open access and equal opportunity
  • Generate stable revenue sufficient to cover costs
  • Transparent sources
  • A number of revenue streams (reduce risk) 

This study has now been completed, the work is presented in a webinar and summarised comprehensive paper: Gabella C, Durinx C and Appel R. Funding knowledgebases: Towards a sustainable funding model for the UniProt use case [version 1; referees: awaiting peer review]. F1000Research 2017, 6(ELIXIR):2051 (doi: 10.12688/f1000research.12989.1)

The outcome of this study is summarised in a webinar 


1 September 2016 to 28 February 2018

Nodes involved: 


  • Data