ELIXIR is one step closer to a life science infrastructure

The European Molecular Biology Laboratory’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), a partner of the EGI-InSPIRE project, has announced that funding for the construction of the ELIXIR infrastructure has been earmarked by the UK’s Large Facilities Capital Fund.

ELIXIR – the European Life-science Infrastructure for Biological Information – is one of the 44 ESFRI projects. Its goal is to support research in the life sciences and to facilitate knowledge transfer to researchers in the medical and environmental sciences.

Professor Janet Thornton, Director of EMBL-EBI and coordinator of ELIXIR, said: “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 is an ESFRI infrastructure of global significance with probably the largest number of users,” says Andrew Lyall, ELIXIR’s project manager.

The project was launched in 2007 with funds from the European Commission’s FP7 capacities programme and brings together 32 European life science organisations from 14 countries. Now in the fourth year of its preparatory phase, the project is entering a crucial phase: “we are hoping to start the construction later this year,” adds Lyall.

This large-scale initiative will provide the facilities necessary for Europe’s life science researchers to share, analyse and protect Europe’s rapidly growing store of information about living systems.

ELIXIR’s central hub will be hosted at EMBL-EBI in Hinxton, near Cambridge in the UK.