ELIXIR provides new forum for academia and industry to address bioinformatics bottlenecks

The first ELIXIR Bioinformatics Suppliers Forum took place on 7 May at the Wellcome Collection in London. The event brought together consumers and providers of bioinformatics services, providing an open forum where technical advances and bioinformatics challenges could be presented and discussed. Over 80 experts attended from 45 different organisations including ELIXIR Nodes, large IT companies and Small to Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). The event was organised by ELIXIR in conjunction with ATOS/Bull, Microsoft, Aridhia and Illumina.

Kenji Takeda from Microsoft Research started the day with a presentation on ‘Unlocking life sciences innovation with Cloud and AI’. This was followed by a panel discussion on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the life sciences. The panel debated what machines need to learn, and highlighted that one of the biggest bottlenecks to machine learning in the life sciences is access to good quality data.

This was followed by four roundtable discussions on the following themes:

  • Moving bioinformatics services and resources to the Cloud
  • Linking researcher algorithms and toolkits to middleware platforms and services  (such as Galaxy)
  • Barriers to using the cloud for data analysis
  • Secure Access to data & federated data sharing.

A summary of the discussions that took place is available here.

In a flash-talk session dedicated to SMEs, representatives from ten companies presented their innovative bioinformatics solutions. The day was rounded off by a keynote from Maria Rodriguez-Martinez (IBM Research) who gave an insight into ‘A Systems approach to unravel cancer complexity - AI applications for biomedical research at IBM Research’.

View the programme and the slides from presentations. Photos from the event are available on Flickr.

If you are interested in attending similar events please contact ELIXIR’s Industry Officer, Katharina Lauer (katharina.lauer [at] elixir-europe.org).

Wed 15 May 2019