ELIXIR: European Life-science Infrastructure for Biological Information


The objective of the ELIXIR preparatory phase was to produce a memorandum or memoranda of understanding between organisations (government agencies, research councils, funding bodies and scientific organisations) within the member states, with the purpose of constructing a world class and globally positioned European infrastructure for the management and integration of information in the life sciences.

To achieve this, ELIXIR worked to address the following tasks and issues:

  1. Define the scope of the infrastructure, its role and benefits
  2. Define an appropriate governance and legal structure
  3. Define a long term funding structure to provide a sustainable infrastructure
  4. Define the requirements for the European Data Centre in the next 5-10 years and make plans to meet these needs
  5. Involve all relevant stakeholders, including users, data providers, and tools providers to ensure that the infrastructure meets their needs
  6. Explore integration and interoperability between core and specialised data resources and the development of standards in newly emerging fields
  7. Define the critical interdisciplinary links that need to be forged between the ‘biological’ and related scientific disciplines, including medicine, agriculture and the environment
  8. Define the needs of related European industries
  9. Define a training strategy to ensure that Europe effectively exploits all the available information

The specific activities of the preparatory phase included:

  1. Holding stakeholder meetings to bring together national representatives, key scientific opinion and funding organisations.
  2. Establishing working parties, supported by technical feasibility studies where appropriate, to address the tasks and issues above with final reports at month 20.
  3. Consolidating these reports into a management and funding proposal to be sent to member states and funding agencies with draft MoU by month 26 to seek agreement by month 38.