UK government says it will fund its share of pan-European biosciences infrastructure

The UK will contribute funding to the pan-European biosciences infrastructure head-quartered in Cambridge, in order to help provide open access for use in academic and industrial research.


The UK government said it has earmarked funding from the country’s Large Facilities Capital Fund for ELIXIR – the European Life-science Infrastructure for Biological Information – an initiative to set up a single infrastructure for biological information in Europe. 

This will provide open access to genomics, proteomics and related databases for use in academic and industrial research. Janet Thornton, coordinator of ELIXIR, said the support from the UK Government lays the foundation for ELIXIR. “This is the first step towards building a distributed infrastructure for biological information throughout Europe.”

ELIXIR’s central hub will be built at the European Bioinformatics Institute in Cambridge, and work with a network of nodes distributed throughout Europe. The UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) has contributed GBP 10 million towards setting up ELIXIR, with the UK Medical Research Council, the UK Natural Environment Research Council, the research charity the Wellcome Trust and the governments of Denmark, Finland, Spain and Sweden, also committing funds to developing the ELIXIR network.

Douglas Kell, Chief Executive, BBSRC, said, “In this post-genomic world, the life sciences are generating vast amounts of data. Storing and curating them in central locations is the best way and most efficient way to make them available in digestible forms.”

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