ELIXIR activities to support COVID-19 research featured recently in several media outlets. The ELIXIR Director, Niklas Blomberg, has been quoted in the European Union's Horizon Magazine, the UK-based Laboratory News, the EU-focussed Science|Business, and the global HealthcareITNews.
The EU's Horizon Magazine highlighted the importance of sharing health data coming from different countries, and presented the role ELIXIR plays in setting up data sharing network across Europe. Quoting the ELIXIR Director, the article calls for creating a European health data space where data is made available to others as part of routine operations:
"We need to move from data sharing being something that is done in rapid response by the leading laboratories and institutions to being available to every research base in Europe."
- Coronavirus accelerates drive to share health data across borders, Horizon Magazine, 10 September 2020
The Science|Business magazine brought an interview with Niklas Blomberg and Guy Cochrane (EMBL-EBI), the head of the European COVID-19 Data portal. It presented the challenges and opportunities in digitising and sharing health research data. In it, Blomberg outlines the benefits of federated data spaces:
“We need to develop generally applicable methods that let researchers access relevant data across countries. Data might have to stay where it originated but that doesn’t mean you can’t research on that data.”
The articles in Laboratory News and HealthcareITNews focussed on the European COVID-19 Data Portal. Both articles published Blomberg's comment on the role of the EOSC-Life project in supporting the portal development:
"The work in EOSC-Life on Europe-wide solutions for federated access to data that cannot be openly shared - for example, human genomes and disease data, data from clinical trials, access to biobank samples from European biobanks - is directly supporting the portal development. The work provides a blueprint for long-term solutions and potentially helps to prepare us for future outbreaks."
- Scientists collaborate over new COVID-19 data portal, HealthcareITNews, 27 August 2020
- Submit your COVID-19 data to the global vaccine effort, Laboratory News, 5 September 2020
For an overview of ELIXIR's response to COVID-19, see ELIXIR support to COVID-19 research.