ELIXIR UK, a part of the ELIXIR project community, is taking a UK and European lead in training, as well as co-leading the ELIXIR platform for integration and interoperability of data and services. ELIXIR UK's aim, to facilitate access to data infrastructure and training for scientists in both academia and industry, will allow researchers to combine their experimental expertise with available computational infrastructure to address critical research questions. Only then will biological Big Data be transformed efficiently into meaningful results that lead to new discoveries and innovations.
The UK does not have a national bioinformatics centre or other single structure that can form the basis of a UK ELIXIR node. The ethos of ELIXIR-UK is not simply to offer training in how to use today's tools and resources, but to foster an environment of education and skills development amongst scientists and technologists who need to understand the infrastructural concepts that will necessarily and inevitably underpin research programmes of tomorrow.
Nationally. The UK Node has initially focused on the training landscape - specifically, on evaluating training provision in the UK and identifying gaps and strategic training needs. This process has resulted in the identification of 5 areas of strategic training need.
Across ELIXIR. The UK Node is also taking the lead in Training development across ELIXIR. The Node led the development of the ELIXIR Training Programme of Work across all member states and convened, with the assistance of the Hub, the ELIXIR Training Coordinating Group and provided its first Chair. Finally, ELIXIR-UK's HoN is Workpackage lead for the ELIXIR-EXCELERATE Training Workpackage (WP11).
The UK Node has, in partnership with the UK's Software Sustainability Institute, established Software Carpentry in ELIXIR-UK and co-founded the international Data Carpentry initiative - Delivering a programme of Software and Data Carpentry training for ELIXIR
The TeSS (Training eSupport System) pilot is a portal for discovering and packaging training resources aggregated from the plethora of fragmented training resources in life sciences. Under ELIXIR-EXCELERATE TeSS will develop as an open resource contributed to by the community, shaped by the community working on the ELIXIR prioritized Use Cases.
ELIXIR UK has, during its first year, been successful in coordinating existing training activities, and identifying and establishing new ones. The UK Node is also contributing substantially to other aspects of ELIXIR and its developing strategy is broadening to encompass all other ELIXIR infrastructures.
Standards, Interoperability and Data Publication Services. ELIXIR-UK already provides technical infrastructural resources for standards, interoperability and data publication that other international initiatives are leveraging and are important to ELIXIR's workplan, notably EXCELERATE.
Areas forming the EXCELERATE Use Cases. Expertise in (a) Biomedical Genomics; (b) AgriGenomics; and, (c) Metagenomics. Also, in four infrastructural areas in which the UK is an international leader: (d) Omics-based Toxicology; (e) Structural Bioinformatics and Protein Science; (f) Image informatics; and, (g) Environmental omics.