Life sciences are becoming increasingly more data intensive, especially resulting from the huge improvements in large-scale gene sequencing and other “omics” techniques. There is need for large-scale sustainable data storage methods allowing secure and easy access to these highly complex data. Simultaneously, since life science research projects increasingly depend on more than one type of measurement, there is a wide–felt need for integrating data of different types. Very similar issues and similar data sets come up in the different sectors of life sciences, such as health, agriculture, bioindustry and marine life, calling also for interoperability between these sectors. ELIXIR (http://www.elixir-europe.org) has been established to build a sustainable pan-European research infrastructure for biological information providing support to life science research including medicine, agriculture, bioindustry and society.
The ELIXIR Bridging Force Interest Group is formed to serve as a bridge between ELIXIR and relevant RDA Interest Groups, e.g. those on agricultural data, big data analysis, federated identity management, marine data, structural biology, toxicogenomics, and data publishing. Furthermore, ELIXIR will interact with relevant infrastructures outside Europe, e.g. NCBI.
The ELIXIR Bridging Force IG will not duplicate ongoing efforts, but rather work as an information bridge between RDA and ELIXIR and other relevant organisations. A few examples of tasks of importance for life sciences are:
• Interoperability of different kinds of large-scale (“omics”) data
• Sustainability of life science data identifiers
• Mechanisms for secure access to sensitive data, including authorisation and authentication issues
• Strategies for data storage allowing for computationally intensive analyses