The Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) awarded the ELIXIR Belgium consortium a 4-year grant of 7.8M€ to continue to operate the Belgian ELIXIR Node, providing services to life science researchers. This infrastructure funding allows the partners to expand and improve our portfolio of services.
ELIXIR is in a unique position to increase the amount of publicly available FAIR data and facilitate its processing, interpretation, publication and reuse. One of our priority areas is to build expertise, develop best practices and provide guidance for data management and analysis in life sciences. To this end, we will further co-develop platforms for data management and data analysis and make them available to our researchers, in collaboration with the Flemish Supercomputer Center.
Sensitive data is a new key topic in this project as it requires dedicated infrastructure capable of storing and sharing human genomics data in a secure way. In Belgium, a sensitive data infrastructure will be deployed in the next few years. At the same time, the large European project, Genomic Data Infrastructure (GDI), will deploy a federated infrastructure across Europe for human genomes. We will coordinate across stakeholders in Belgium to ensure the implementation is fit for purpose, and develop a federated learning framework to effectively use the data made available through this infrastructure.
With our Node Services, we will bring domain specific applications to researchers, assisting them to interpret and annotate data, focussing on genomic variants, oligogenic diseases, immunogenetics and functional genomics. Our offering of training to (future) researchers will continue, focussing on data management and reproducible data analysis, handling sensitive data and the associated infrastructure, federated approaches for sensitive data analysis, and basic skills for coding and data science.
This project is a collaboration between the Flemish partners in the ELIXIR Belgium consortium (Ghent University, KU Leuven, VUB, University of Antwerp, Hasselt University and VIB).