ELIXIR Beacon Infrastructure Service plan (2022-23)

The generation of genomic data is rapidly expanding in amount and number of stakeholders, in biomedical applications and beyond. The utilization of such data beyond "single use" scenarios is of paramount importance, for reasons of efficient resource utilization but more importantly to empower federated data analysis models.

The Beacon protocol was created to ease genomic data discoverability across multiple resources. The original concept enabled the query of multiple datasets for presence or absence of genetic variants and to aggregate the responses with pointers to the respective repositories. One powerful concept behind the protocol is that such queries can be enabled without permitting access to the datasets themselves.

In the era of petabyte scale genomics data, this is crucial: Beacon users are able to query all datasets in a Beacon and apply for additional access only to dataset(s) that are known to contain data of interest. As an addition to the ongoing development of the Beacon protocol, increasing emphasis is on the utilization of the extended possibilities throughout ELIXIR resources and platforms. The proposed ELIXIR Beacon Network service enables human data discovery from European data resources. It integrates tightly in ELIXIR Core Data resources and other infrastructure services.


1 January 2022 to 31 December 2023

Nodes involved: 


  • Communities