ELIXIR has provided €5.1 million in funding to 29 new projects that launched 1 January 2022. These projects, called ‘Commissioned Services’ are varied in scope and theme, but all aim to provide funding and a method to advance ELIXIR services, resources, and Platform and Community activities, which cover a diverse collection of life-science and bioinformatics disciplines.
Each project is led by a number of different ELIXIR Nodes, so aside from driving forward new scientific activities, these projects also strengthen the connections between the Nodes (Figure 1), facilitating new collaborations and developing new services and resources in a unified way across all of Europe.
One of the projects funded in this round, Food & Nutrition: Microbiome - Diet - Health aims to provide stimulus for the newest ELIXIR Community, Food and Nutrition. Focusing on the interplay between the human microbiome, diet and overall health, this project aims to create a Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR) dataset for the currently fragmented and dispersed study datasets in this field.
Crucially, all of these projects support the long-term strategy of ELIXIR, as outlined in ELIXIR’s second Scientific Programme running from 2019 to 2023, and bring together expertise from across ELIXIR’s Nodes. We are now half-way through the ELIXIR Scientific Programme 2019-2023, and so far ELIXIR has funded 64 Commissioned Services, the first batch of 28 studies finished at the end of 2021 with great success. Preliminary results from these projects were shared in the mid-term review, held in June 2021, and received very positive feedback from ELIXIR’s Scientific Advisory Board who state “ELIXIR’s varied and growing Commissioned Services Portfolio in the current ELIXIR 2019-23 Programme is commendable and represents the breadth of ELIXIR activities”.
Figure 1: A circos plot showing the links between ELIXIR Nodes based on their co-involvement in the new Commissioned Services projects.
The funding for these 29 projects comes from ELIXIR’s Core budget. All projects run for two years, until December 2023. Full details of all Commissioned Services past and present are available on the Commissioned Services webpage. The new projects are summarised below.