Hacking through BioHackathon Europe 2023

Bringing 350 bioinformaticians together, BioHackathon Europe 2023 kicked off on 30 October 2023 in Barcelona, Spain. Over the week, participants onsite and online worked collaboratively on 35 bioinformatics projects, ranging from genomic and health data to FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and reusable) data and research data management.

In contrast to previous editions of BioHackathon Europe, project leads were challenged to record a flash presentation on their projects before the event. This ensured participants gained a general understanding of each project and could choose which projects to work on. To encourage connections between participants, a networking session took place on the first day. It was great to see all face-to-face participants, both experienced and newcomers, chatting with each other and sharing their expectations and experiences of participating in BioHackathon.

The importance of training in bioinformatics was addressed by a number of projects creating and advancing training resources for data stewardship, FAIR data management and system biology. Other project topics included machine learning, genomics and health data, biodiversity and research data management. The most common keywords in the 35 BioHackathon projects were “data, life and FAIR”, which concisely sums up the main themes of the event.

“People are core to ELIXIR, and ELIXIR wants to invest in our network of people. We organise the BioHackathon to bring together the scientific community and ELIXIR members from across the Nodes,” said Katharina Heil, ELIXIR Programme Manager of Communities and Training and Chair of the Programme and Organising Committee of BioHackathon Europe 2023. Toshiaki Katayama, founder of BioHackathon Japan who has participated in BioHackathon Europe since the first edition said “the biggest impact of BioHackathon is the stimulation of people to collaborate. We see lots of new faces every year and it’s a great chance to make connections with others.” He also shared his vision for more inter-project collaborations during the event.

To learn more about Biohackathon Europe 2023, please visit the BioHackathon Europe website. Take a look at this year’s projects and track their progress during the event by viewing #BioHackEU23 hashtag on Twitter/X and Mastodon. BioHackathon Europe 2024 will take place on 4-7 November, the venue is to be confirmed.

Further information:

Fri 17 November 2023