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Global Biodata Coalition

Research resources are central to life science research and large databases are amongst the most important of these. Many data resources have arisen ad hoc.

They are the results of tireless work by individuals or groups of scientists who have supported the growth and functionality of these resources over many years. The models of funding and the governance structures vary widely.

The sustainability of these crucial resources and the challenges they face were summarized in an article in NATURE by Philip E. Bourne, Jon R. Lorsch and Eric D. Green (Sustaining the big-data ecosystem; Organizing and accessing biomedical big data will require quite different business models, Nature, 5 November 2015, Vol. 527)

HFSPO acted as a venue for an in-depth discussion on these challenges and convened an international workshop in Strasbourg, on November 18th and 19th 2016, chaired by Dr. Paul Lasko, Scientific Director of the Institute for Genetics of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research at McGill University. The workshop brought together some 30 representatives from the most widely used data resources and scientific organizations. The goal of the workshop was to exchange information on possibilities to develop a roadmap for the future growth and accessibility of these resources.

Speakers explored the complexity of the problems from very different perspectives with the aim to propose the next steps in a plan to maintain future support of the data resources in the life sciences. The meeting programme which links to PDFs of the presentations can be accessed here.

A second meeting was held in June 2017 to discuss issues relating to the sustainability of key data resources for life sciences and biomedical research.

A planning meeting was held at the Wellcome Trust, June 5-6 2017, involving 35 attendees who discussed issues relating to the sustainability of key data resources for life sciences and biomedical research.

This was a follow-up meeting to a workshop held at the HFSPO in Strasbourg in November 2016 and the discussion focussed on developing a broad plan towards gaining the support of research funders around the world to support the core resources that are used by scientists globally.

The participants developed the principles for such support and proposed the preparation of a high-level plan towards achieving global support. A report of the meeting can be accessed here.

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