Published on February 9, 2011 at 7:56 AM
Professor Janet Thornton, Director of EMBL-EBI and coordinator of ELIXIR said "This support from the UK Government lays the foundation for ELIXIR. This is the first step towards building a distributed infrastructure for biological information throughout Europe. By providing public access to the wealth of knowledge generated by the global research community, we will empower researchers in academia and industry to solve some of society's most pressing problems".
ELIXIR has the potential to transform biosciences research leading to major advances in:
- Healthy ageing - Linking biomedical and biological data resources to facilitate understanding of diseases of old age; drive earlier diagnosis; and improve disease prevention and management.
- Food security - Easy access to genomes of animals, plants, insects and pathogens for crop improvement and improved health, welfare, and productivity of livestock.
- Biotech and pharma industry - Facilitation of pre-commercial research collaborations with the potential to attract more companies to Europe.
- Environmental change - Support for researchers who are monitoring ocean life; understanding effects of climate change on species diversity; and developing new methods to tackle pollution and waste. Also, the development of new plant-based sources for sustainable bioenergy.
- Bioenergy and industrial biotechnology - Access to the very diverse genomes and metagenomes of plants and microbes, as well as biochemical data derived therefrom, to support research into sustainable bioenergy and industrial biotechnology applications.
There is great potential for ELIXIR to support the maintenance and development of the knowledge-based bioeconomy in the UK and Europe and promote the development of Europe-based R&D business in a range of fields including pharmaceuticals and agriculture.
SOURCE Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council