Bringing the ELIXIR plant data infrastructure to the Portuguese pulp and paper industry

The ELIXIR Plant Sciences Community has been implementing a distributed infrastructure for FAIR plant genotype-phenotype data publication and access, which aims to support agronomic research and industrial development.

This infrastructure is based on a central search service, FAIDARE, which sits atop a federation of distributed data repositories across several ELIXIR Nodes, all of which implement a common web service specification, the Breeding API (BrAPI, BrAPI ensures accessibility, and also interoperability and reusability because it implements the MIAPPE metadata standard (, whereas FAIDARE ensures findability.

While the need for data FAIRness and the solutions of the ELIXIR Plant Sciences Community to enable it have been gaining traction in academia, their penetration in the industry has been almost null. Our goal is that industry stakeholders not only make use of the publicly available data in ELIXIR’s infrastructure, but also can deposit their (meta)data in that infrastructure or even implement their own BrAPI endpoints. Realizing this goal requires outreach activities, to divulge ELIXIR’s plant data infrastructure and FAIR-enabling standards, and training activities on how to use the infrastructure and standards.

The Navigator Company a leading force in the international pulp and paper market and one of Portugal's strongest brands on the world stage. Its production structure is based on three major industrial sites in Cacia, Figueira da Foz and Setúbal, where the facilities set international standards for the pulp and paper industry. In addition to its industrial activities, it carries out, mostly through RAIZ Forest and Paper Institute, extensive research on Eucalyptus breeding and genetics, generating genotypic and phenotypic data on over 300,000 specimens across a range of sites and covering up to 4 generations of pedigree. This wealth of data makes The Navigator Company a prime candidate for a pilot knowledge-transfer project to enable it to draw value from and contribute to ELIXIR’s plant data infrastructure.

The goals of this project are (1) to transfer knowledge on standards for FAIR plant data access and publication (particularly BrAPI) from the ELIXIR Plant Sciences Community to the Navigator Company; (2) to collaborate with The Navigator Company in organizing its data on eucalyptus breeding according to the MIAPPE and BrAPI standards; and (3) to establish an access protocol for the Navigator Company to submit its datasets to the ELIXIR-PT BrAPI end-point in bulk.

The accomplishment of these goals will lead to the expansion of the plant datasets provided by the ELIXIR-PT BrAPI end-point to the Plant Sciences community, and more importantly, will bring a key industrial partner into the fold of FAIR plant data publication. Furthermore, due to the prominent role of The Navigator Company in Europe, we expect this project to play a key outreach role and pave the way to further collaborations with other partners in the industry.


27 February 2020 to 9 December 2022

Nodes involved: