Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

UK Government Commits $117M to Europe's ELIXIR Bioinformatics Infrastructure


The UK has committed £75 million ($117 million) to support infrastructure development for the European Life-science Infrastructure for Biological Information, or ELIXIR, making good on a pledge made earlier this year to fund the project.

In February, the European Bioinformatics Institute and the UK's Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council said that the UK government had earmarked "substantial" financial support to build a central ELIXIR hub at EBI but could not confirm the grant amount at the time (BI 2/11/2011).

The new hub will serve as the "nerve center" for bioinformatics in Europe and its researchers will coordinate the delivery of services and user training from several centers of excellence across Europe, EBI said. The center will also provide computing infrastructure for managing data.

In a statement, Søren Brunak, director of the Technical University of Denmark's center for biological sequence analysis and chair of the interim ELIXIR board, described the UK government's support for the EBI hub as "a very important milestone in the development of the distributed infrastructure."

He added that the hub will provide "strong coordination of activities across the different nodes in Europe."

ELIXIR is a pan-European initiative funded by the European Commission and led by EBI.

In September, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory and five European countries — Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden, and the UK — signed a memorandum of understanding under which they agreed to set up a permanent structure for ELIXIR and contribute to the project's budget.

The MoU marked the end of a four-year preparatory phase for ELIXIR and formally committed the signatories to support the bioinformatics infrastructure that will be built over the next five years. Several other EU states are expected to sign the MoU in the near future (BI 9/16/2011).

Filed under

The Scan

Transcriptomic, Epigenetic Study Appears to Explain Anti-Viral Effects of TB Vaccine

Researchers report in Science Advances on an interferon signature and long-term shifts in monocyte cell DNA methylation in Bacille Calmette-Guérin-vaccinated infant samples.

DNA Storage Method Taps Into Gene Editing Technology

With a dual-plasmid system informed by gene editing, researchers re-wrote DNA sequences in E. coli to store Charles Dickens prose over hundreds of generations, as they recount in Science Advances.

Researchers Model Microbiome Dynamics in Effort to Understand Chronic Human Conditions

Investigators demonstrate in PLOS Computational Biology a computational method for following microbiome dynamics in the absence of longitudinally collected samples.

New Study Highlights Role of Genetics in ADHD

Researchers report in Nature Genetics on differences in genetic architecture between ADHD affecting children versus ADHD that persists into adulthood or is diagnosed in adults.