On 23-27 July 2023, ELIXIR was in Lyon for ISMB/ECCB 2023 with more than a thousand bioinformaticians around the world. As a sponsor of the event, ELIXIR had a dedicated booth and hosted a track programme with NIH Office of Data Science Strategy (NIH ODSS) on BioData Ecosystems.
The ELIXIR/NIH ODSS track focused on three main topics: core resources, federated and distributed landscape as well as knowledge and impact from data. The track programme featured 21 speakers representing the diverse BioData resource ecosystem, ranging from biomolecules to infectious diseases and sensitive data. Attracting a full house, the ELIXIR/NIH ODSS track programme introduced the rich history of biodata resources, such as Brenda and UniProt, and the international collaboration of resource development, such as IMEX.
One of the crucial subjects mentioned during the session was the importance of well-curated data and maintenance of experimental deposition databases for reuse in modern day bioinformatics approaches, such as training data for machine learning and deep learning. FAIR data was also highlighted during the session. The speakers discussed sustainability of both resources and the hosting environment and how a well-connected resource consortium can be a good form of sustaining biodata resources. Speakers from BRENDA and SILVA explicitly mentioned that ELIXIR Core Data Resources status has been helpful for them to secure funding.
During the conference, ELIXIR reached a wide range of new and existing audiences through our booth. An interactive poster was used at the booth to collect ISMB/ECCB participants’ understanding of ELIXIR. The result showed that ELIXIR is well known in the bioinformatics community already, with around 50% of booth visitors having used ELIXIR resources or heard of ELIXIR from their colleagues, conferences and training courses. Some of the great feedback we received includes: “ELIXIR is a network of bioinformatics in Europe”, “Network of great people” and “A platform for the development of bioinformatics in Europe”.