ELIXIR’s eighth All Hands meeting was a welcome return to an in-person gathering after two years of virtual events. The meeting was hosted by ELIXIR Netherlands in the riverside Eye Filmmuseum in Amsterdam and ran for four days between 7 and 10 of June.
The All Hands is ELIXIR’s largest annual community meeting and aims to bring the ELIXIR Nodes together to discuss, reflect and make progress on shared objectives. The 2022 meeting coincided with the planning stages of the 2024-2028 Scientific Programme and an overarching objective of the meeting was to provide inspiration and ideas for collectively shaping the Programme content.
306 participants from 22 Nodes were registered for the meeting and 15 guests attended, including nine from non-Member countries. Two well-received keynote lectures set the stage: Marialuisa Lavitrano, Professor at the University of Milano-Bicocca spoke on “Why Open Science? Where does EOSC come from?” and Gerrit A. Meijer, Head of Research and Innovation at the Netherlands Cancer Institute, on “Towards data-driven health”.
A busy programme of parallel workshops and mini symposia, plenary sessions and social events ensured that the diversity of ELIXIR’s technical activities was well-represented and participants had many opportunities to meet each other and make connections. The poster session in the venue’s light-filled atrium was a particular highlight, as was the dinner and dancing which followed.
Feedback showed that participants valued meeting colleagues in the ELIXIR community and sharing ideas. Wolmar Nyberg Åkerström, Data Steward at ELIXIR Sweden, commented “I joined the Swedish Node in the early phase of the pandemic and it was a great experience to meet many of my collaborators for the first time. The updates from the Platforms, the EOSC sessions and the Community workshops gave me many new ideas on aligning the work I’m involved with the wider network.”
Many participants commented on how the meeting reflected the character of the ELIXIR community and was an opportunity to see “what ELIXIR is”. It was inspiring to see so many people giving their time and energy to prepare posters, workshops, mini-symposia and plenary presentations to share their work and ideas with ELIXIR colleagues.
ELIXIR thanks all speakers, participants and organisers of the conference for making it a memorable and productive event. The 2023 All Hands meeting will be hosted by ELIXIR Ireland in Dublin between 5 and 9 June - we look forward to seeing you there.