On the 28th of January 2104, the Dutch State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science, Sander Dekker, has ratified the international ELIXIR Consortium Agreement (ECA). This makes The Netherlands the seventh country – and eighth formal member of the ELIXIR research infrastructure with the tagline ‘Data for Life’.
ELIXIR infrastructure is primarily concerned with data issues in the life sciences, and it aims to ensure that data are there for a ‘life-time’. ELIXIR is concerned with data stewardship in its broadest sense. It aims to secure sustained access to global research data resources, standards for data capture and data interoperability, as well as the bioinformatics tools and e-infrastructures to securely share, manage and analyse research data in advanced life science research. ELIXIR also bundles the European excellence in bioinformatics training to support academic and industrial researchers in their discovery projects.
Recognizing that expertise is crucial, ELIXIR-NL will have a very strong training component through the bioinformatics expertise built up over the years in NBIC, and now gathered in the new research school for Bioinformatics and Systems Biology (BioSB.nl). And as data and the associated software need to be hosted, securely exchanged and processed well in international collaboration, ELIXIR-NL also adds advanced e-infrastructure service capabilities as a critical part of the ELIXIR infrastructure.
As an international research infrastructure, ELIXIR is being set up as a hub-and-nodes structure, with international coordination provided from the ELIXIR hub in Hinxton, UK. The Dutch ELIXIR node will be hosted by the Dutch Techcentre for Life Sciences (DTL). In the international ELIXIR consortium, ELIXIR-NL will initially focus on data ‘interoperability’, training and e-infrastructure services.