UK government invest £75M in European research infrastructure

UK government to invest £75M in European research infrastructure

9:39 PM, 19th December 2011
UK government to invest £75M in European research infrastructure

 

WILTSHIRE, UNITED KINGDOM: The European Molecular Biology Laboratory’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) have welcomed the announcement from UK government of a £75M commitment from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ Large Facilities Capital Fund (LFCF) for the ELIXIR research infrastructure.

ELIXIR is a pan-European effort to safeguard and foster data generated in life-science experiments. Its core objective is to ensure that Europe can continue to handle a rapidly growing volume and variety of data from high-throughput experiments such as DNA sequencing. Proper management of this information facilitates the translation of research into innovations that meet global challenges in food security, energy and health.

EMBL-EBI and BBSRC have jointly welcomed the funding announcement. The project is also supported by the Medical Research Council, Natural Environment Research Council and The Wellcome Trust.

The new funding will allow the construction of ELIXIR’s central hub at EMBL-EBI on the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus in Hinxton, Cambridge. The hub will be the nerve centre for bioinformatics in Europe, coordinating the delivery of services and user training from several centres of excellence Europe-wide. The hub will also establish a robust computing infrastructure that can handle the rising tide of life science data. It has potential to enhance development of Europe-based R&D business in fields ranging from pharmaceuticals to agriculture.

“This commitment from the UK Government to ELIXIR emphasises the growing importance of biological information. The funding puts Europe in a uniquely strong position to solve some of society’s most pressing problems,” said Professor Janet Thornton, Director, EMBL-EBI.

“In organisation of ELIXIR bioinformatics infrastructure the hub is essential. The decision to fund construction of ELIXIR’s central hub is therefore an important milestone in development of the distributed infrastructure,” said Professor Soren Brunak, Chair of Interim ELIXIR Board.

“The collaborative and centrally accessible approach represented by ELIXIR is an efficient way for life scientists to store, manage, share and interpret information. Through ELIXIR, we are ensuring our researchers have access to the best infrastructure and services,” said Professor Douglas Kell, CEO, BBSRC.

(C) BBSRC News

 

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