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Fwd: [ELIXIR] ELIXIR news: BBSRC and EMBL-EBI welcome UK funds earmarked for major bioscience data infrastructure project

From: M. Scott Marshall <mscottmarshall@gmail.com>
Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2011 15:00:15 +0100
Message-ID: <AANLkTikc+gWW916fRs5pSKA0XVAyQgKA+M4rVf2oc1Fh@mail.gmail.com>
To: HCLS <public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org>
FYI.  Cheers, Scott
-- 
M. Scott Marshall, W3C HCLS IG co-chair, http://www.w3.org/blog/hcls
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From:  <elixir-stakeholders@ebi.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 1:04 PM
Subject: [ELIXIR]  ELIXIR news: BBSRC and EMBL-EBI welcome UK funds
earmarked for major bioscience data infrastructure project
To: elixir-stakeholders@ebi.ac.uk



Heidelberg/Hinxton, 9 February 2011 - The Biotechnology and Biological
Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the European Molecular Biology
Laboratory’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) welcome news
that funding has been earmarked from the UK’s Large Facilities Capital
Fund for ELIXIR – the European Life-science Infrastructure for
Biological Information – as announced today.

ELIXIR is a pan-European initiative that aims to operate a sustainable
infrastructure for biological information in Europe. It will provide
public access to the information on the building blocks of life,
including genes, proteins and complex networks. This will support life
science research and its translation to medicine and the environment,
the bio-industries and society to deliver economic growth to the UK,
Europe and beyond. Consistent with the movement towards open access to
data and publications, ELIXIR will make important information freely
available to researchers across academia and industry.

This project, if approved, will allow the construction of ELIXIR’s
central hub at EMBL-EBI in Hinxton near Cambridge, ensuring the
maintenance and expansion of essential biological data resources to
support bioscience researchers working in many disciplines. ELIXIR
works through a network of nodes distributed throughout Europe and
coordinated at EMBL-EBI.

BBSRC leads the funding strategy element of the project and has
already contributed £10M funding towards the establishment of ELIXIR.
The Medical Research Council, the Natural Environment Research Council
and the Wellcome Trust also support ELIXIR. Denmark, Finland, Spain
and Sweden have already committed funds towards developing the ELIXIR
network.

Professor Douglas Kell, Chief Executive, BBSRC, said: “This is really
excellent news for the European bioscience community. 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. To
benefit from the information they contain we have to be able to mine
such data for answers to many of the current problems in chemical,
molecular and sub-cellular biology, and also to apply them in the
context of systems and predictive models. To this end, ELIXIR offers
essential services to the modern life sciences community, and these
need both to be expanded and to be maintained. Only in this way can we
make the most of previous and future investments in research in
biology and biotechnology.”

Professor Janet Thornton, Director of EMBL-EBI and coordinator of
ELIXIR, said: “This 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. By
providing public access to the wealth of knowledge generated by the
global research community, we will empower researchers in academia and
industry to solve some of society’s most pressing problems”.

ELIXIR has the potential to transform biosciences research leading to
major advances in:

Healthy ageing – Linking biomedical and biological data resources to
facilitate understanding of diseases of old age; drive earlier
diagnosis; and improve disease prevention and management.
Food security – Easy access to genomes of animals, plants, insects and
pathogens for crop improvement and improved health, welfare, and
productivity of livestock.
Biotech and pharma industry – Facilitation of pre-commercial research
collaborations with the potential to attract more companies to Europe.
Environmental change – Support for researchers who are monitoring
ocean life; understanding effects of climate change on species
diversity; and developing new methods to tackle pollution and waste.
Also, the development of new plant-based sources for sustainable
bioenergy.
Bioenergy and industrial biotechnology – Access to the very diverse
genomes and metagenomes of plants and microbes, as well as biochemical
data derived therefrom, to support research into sustainable bioenergy
and industrial biotechnology applications.

There is great potential for ELIXIR to support the maintenance and
development of the knowledge-based bioeconomy in the UK and Europe and
promote the development of Europe-based R&D business in a range of
fields, including pharmaceuticals and agriculture.

CONTACTS
BBSRC External Relations
Mike Davies, Tel: 01793 414694, email: mike.davies@bbsrc.ac.uk
Nancy Mendoza, Tel: 01793 413355, email: nancy.mendoza@bbsrc.ac.uk
Matt Goode, Tel: 01793 413299, email: matt.goode@bbsrc.ac.uk

EMBL-EBI
Mary Todd Bergman, EMBL-EBI Outreach Programme Project Leader,
Hinxton, UK. Tel: +44 1223 494 665, mary@ebi.ac.uk
Katrina Pavelin, EMBL-EBI Scientific Outreach Officer, Hinxton, UK.
Tel: +44 1223 494 452, katrina@ebi.ac.uk
Sonia Furtado, EMBL Press Officer, Heidelberg, Germany. Tel: +49 6221
387 8263, sonia.furtado@embl.de, www.embl.org
contactpress@ebi.ac.uk • www.ebi.ac.uk

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Received on Wednesday, 9 February 2011 14:00:48 GMT

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