On 7 September 2017, Luxembourg joined 20 other European countries in the ELIXIR (European Life Sciences Infrastructure for Biological Information) network, a network in which life science research data are shared and made available on the Internet in the long term. Supported by the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, ELIXIR-LU will enable European researchers to access the personalised biomedical data stored at the Luxembourg Center for Systems Biomedicine(LCSB) of the University of Luxembourg.
Accelerating access to biomedical data
ELIXIR-LU now allows European researchers to browse databases as a catalogue and select relevant data sets for their research.
The LCSB is henceforth a node in this European network, whose headquarters are in Great Britain. The mission of the network is to remedy a persistent harm that hinders the flow of scientific information and thus delays research: the interconnection of research centres. The information is namely only partly valued because the data is stored locally and accessible only for short periods of time, because many research centres do not have the necessary infrastructure to store the enormous amount of data resulting from the analyses during one whole project.
Making long-term data accessible
ELIXIR-LU will provide secure access to personalised biomedical data from different countries and make them accessible for long-term research. The LCSB is well prepared for this task because of its long experience in the management, processing and provision of large datasets. The centre also holds an international reputation in the field of systems biology and biomedicine.
Better exchange through standardisation
Another concern is the format of the data. Personalised medical data, collected for example in clinical studies, are often stored in a format suited to the current project but not standardised. The objective of ELIXIR is to convert this data into standard formats that can be pooled in databases where they can be used for further medical studies.
Data generated in Luxembourg will be directly stored in the new platform, while data from studies carried out in European partner countries will be imported into the Luxembourg platform and made accessible in a sustainable manner.
(Source: Luxinnovation press release)