ELIXIR - distributed infrastructure for biological data
Watch our new ELIXIR profile video to get an overview about ELIXIR. In it, Niklas Blomberg (ELIXIR Director), Ewan Birney (EMBL-EBI), Alfonso Valencia (ELIXIR Spain) and others explain what ELIXIR is and what it does, and Olav Lanes, Head of R&D at ArticZymes, explains why public data are so vital for innovation.
ELIXIR unites Europe’s leading life science organisations in managing and safeguarding the increasing volume of data being generated by publicly funded research. ELIXIR is a pan-Europan research infrastructure for bioinformatics - storing life science data, providing tools and training to use it. It includes major life science databases such as UniProt and Ensembl. ELIXIR has a hub in the UK - linked with the EMBL-EBI - the European Bionformatics Institute - and nodes in 20 European countries.
Inge Jonassen, professor at UiB and head of the Computation Biology Unit (CBU), is the head of the Norwegian node of ELIXIR - and also part of the scientific leader group in ELIXIR.
ELIXIR is in part funded by the participating countries - each funding its own node and also contributing to cover the costs of the hub - and in part through European grants. The Norwegian Node is currently largely funded through a grant from the Research Council of Norway as well as contributions from the five participating universities (UiB, UiO, NTNU, UiT, NMBU).
The Computational Biology Unit (and informatics) has coordinated national infrastructure for bioinformatics since 2002 and being among the first countries to join the ELIXIR from the beginning in 2013, was an important milestone. ELIXIR includes most leading European bioinformatics centers - and many of the leading bioinformatics researchers in Europe. It is naturally an advantage for the Norwegian network to be part of this structure and network. Bioinformatics researchers and students at CBU both contribute to ELIXIR and benefit from it. The bulk of ELIXIR users are in other departments and in other institutions - since the user base includes a large portion of researchers and students within life science (which makes up close to half of the activity of UiB).