ELIXIR-CONVERGE is a project funded by the European Commission to help standardise life science data management across Europe. To achieve this standardisation, the project will develop a data management toolkit for life scientists.
The toolkit will help ensure more research data is in the public domain, which will give scientists access to more data. This will allow them to discover new insights into the challenges facing society, such as food security and health in old age, and help stimulate innovation in biomedicine and biotechnology.
The initial operational phase of ELIXIR, supported by the H2020 ELIXIR-EXCELERATE project (2015-19), focussed on the coordination and delivery of bioinformatics services from national Nodes (see Who we are). This lay the foundation for a coordinated European life science infrastructure.
ELIXIR-CONVERGE will build on these achievements to deliver another critical component: the provisioning, across Europe, of distributed local support for data management. This will be based on a toolkit for researchers that enables lifecycle management for their research data, in compliance with international standards.
ELIXIR-CONVERGE will develop the national operations of the research infrastructure to drive good data management, reproducibility and reuse. Over 36 months and with partners from our 23 Nodes, ELIXIR-CONVERGE takes the next step to create a European data federation where interconnected national operations allow users to extract knowledge from life science’s large, diverse and distributed datasets.
By connecting ELIXIR Nodes to provide FAIR data management as a service, ELIXIR-CONVERGE will build national capacity and create a blueprint for operating sustainable Nodes in distributed research infrastructures.
- To develop a model for transnational life-science data management support
Key results of Objective 1
- An established European expert network of data stewards that connect national data centres and similar infrastructures. The expert network will also drive development of interoperable solutions following international best practice, including national interpretations of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
- Joint guidelines and a common toolkit that are adopted into funder recommendations, with support available nationally and in local languages.
- A catalogue of successful national business models incorporated into national strategies.
- The developed “sustainable and scalable operating model for transnational life-science data management support” is adopted into national ELIXIR Nodes.
- To strengthen Europe’s data management capacity through a comprehensive training programme
Key results of Objective 2
- A comprehensive ELIXIR Training and Capacity building programme in Data Management. This is directed at both data managers and ELIXIR users, and connected to national training programmes in Data Management in the ELIXIR Nodes and prospective ELIXIR Member countries.
- Development of a collective group of trainers who support scalable deployment of Data Management training across ELIXIR Nodes.
- A substantial cohort of data managers, Node coordinators and researchers with specific data management skills, business planning expertise, and knowledge of transnational operations across the ELIXIR Nodes.
- To align national data management standards and services through a data management toolkit
Key results of Objective 3
- Assemble a full-stack harmonised common toolkit comprising all aspects of data management: from data capture, annotation, and sharing; to integration with analysis platforms and making the data publicly available according to international standards.
- Provide exemplar toolkit configurations for prioritised demonstrators, to serve as templates for future use.
- Establish national capacity in using as well as updating, extending and sustaining the toolkit across the ERA.
- Enable ‘FAIR at source’ practice for data generation, and analytical process pipeline implementation by flexible deployment of the toolkit in national operations.
- To align national investments to drive local impact and the global influence of ELIXIR
Key results of Objective 4
- Development of a Node Impact Assessment Toolkit based on RI-PATHS methodology.
- Adoption of Impact assessment in ELIXIR Nodes, supported by Node coordinators network and feedback on applicability from dialogues with national funders.
- Creation of national public-private partnerships and industry outreach where open life-science data and services stimulate local bioeconomy.
- Growth in reach, impact and engagement of stakeholder communication assessed by established ELIXIR Communications metrics.
- Initiating and advancing discussions on Membership (EU and international) or strategic partnerships (international countries) following ELIXIR-CONVERGE workshops.
29 research institutes in 22 countries across Europe.
Work Packages and their leaders
WP1: Expert network
Bengt Persson (Uppsala University), Jiri Vondrasek (ÚOCHB), Silvio Tosatto (CNR)
WP2: Training and Capacity Building
Celia van Gelder (DTL Projects), Alexia Cardona (University of Cambridge), Patricia Palagi (SIB), Brane Leskosek (University of Ljubljana)
WP3: Common Data Management Toolkit
Frederik Coppens (VIB), Inge Jonassen (University of Bergen), Carole Goble (University of Manchester)
WP4: Communications, Industry, International, Impact and Sustainability
Andrew Smith (ELIXIR Hub), Corinne Martin (ELIXIR Hub)
WP5: Demonstrator Projects
Anne-Françoise Adam-Blondon (INRAE), Salvador Capella-Gutierrez (BSC), Alfonso Valencia (BSC)
WP6: Project Management and Scientific Coordination
Juan Arenas Marquez (ELIXIR Hub), Hannah Hurst (ELIXIR Hub)
WP7: Federated European Genome-phenome Archives for transnational access of COVID-19 host data
Jordi Rambla (ELIXIR Spain), Thomas Keane (EMBL-EBI)
WP8: ELIXIR-CONVERGE European COVID-19 Data Platform
Guy Cochrane (EMBL-EBI), Jeena Rajan (EMBL-EBI)
WP9: Mobilisation of SARS-CoV-2 variant surveillance data tracking services and tools
Aitana Lebrand (SIB), Nils P Willassen (UiT)
There are 26 deliverables. See the deliverables page.
The project is coordinated by the ELIXIR Director Niklas Blomberg (at the ELIXIR Hub). It is overseen by the Management Board, which is made up of the CONVERGE Work Package leaders and the ELIXIR Director. The Board receives input from the ELIXIR Heads of Nodes Committee, the ELIXIR Scientific Advisory Board, and the ELIXIR Industry Advisory Committee. For more about these advisory bodies and how ELIXIR is run see Governance.
Three years (February 2020 - July 2023)
grants [at] elixir-europe.org