The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health, an international alliance aiming to discuss and orchestrate the standards and frameworks for sharing genomic data, announced during the 5th Plenary Meeting on Tuesday, the 2017 Driver Projects. GA4GH Driver Projects are international genomic data initiatives, focussed on real projects and challenges that will guide the development efforts in order to accelerate and enable completely responsible and standardised data sharing by 2022.

The European Genome-phenome Archive (EGA), jointly coordinated by the EBI and the CRG, was announced to be one of the 15 Driver Projects. Likewise, the EBI-based archives European Nucleotide Archive (ENA) and European Variation Archive (EVA), have been also included in the honorable list.
All chosen Driver Projects make a cross sectional effort by playing an important role across the different work streams.

The leadership and collaboration of EGA in GA4GH Work Streams has already generated a positive impact to the genomics and health community. A couple of examples were highlighted during the Plenary Meeting:

  • EGA and ELIXIR brightened up the GA4GH Beacon by developing the necessary technology for making sensitive data discoverable for all researchers
  • “Htsget” is a robust data retrieval specification that will allow all users to download subsections of a desired genome without the necessity of downloading the whole set of files

Thomas Keane, Jordi Rambla and Dylan Spalding have been named as Driver Project Champions for the EGA, whilst Cristina Yenyxe Gonzalez and Rasko Leinonen took this responsibility for EVA and ENA, respectively. All Driver Project Champions and will be leading this ambitious initiative for the following years.