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EU Awards 12M to Create Pan-European Bioinformatics Network

NEW YORK, Jan. 27 (GenomeWeb News) - The Commission of the European Union has awarded €12 million to 24 bioinformatics groups based in 14 European countries to create the so-called BioSapiens Network of Excellence in Bioinformatics.

The network will create a pan-European "virtual research institute" and will also support a European school for training in bioinformatics, according to a statement from the European Bioinformatics Institute, one of the centers in the network.

The grant was awarded under the sixth Framework Program (FP6), the EU's main means of funding research in Europe.

The BioSapiens Network's first project will be a distributed genome annotation project. Each center, or network "node," will focus on one aspect of genome annotation. The results will be integrated via the Distributed Annotation System (DAS), developed by Lincoln Stein at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and made freely accessible through a single portal on the web.

BioSapiens is coordinated by a steering committee that includes EBI director Janet Thornton, Søren Brunak of the Technical University of Denmark, Anna Tramontano of the University of Rome, and Alfonso Valencia of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid. Kerstin Nyberg of the EBI will serve as project manager.

"[A]lthough there are 24 formal partners, BioSapiens is not a closed shop," said Thornton in a statement. "Once the infrastructure is established, a primary goal is to make this an open network to promote bioinformatics throughout Europe."

For further information on the BioSapiens Network, see the 12-22-03 issue of BioInform.

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