An extension of the partnership between ELIXIR and the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) to develop the Beacon project has been recently announced.

The Beacon project, presented few months ago in EGA Blog, is an open sharing platform that builds the infrastructures that enable genomic centres to share human data without compromising its security. The continuation of such collaboration will improve the discoverability of European genomic data and will significantly lower the time it takes to share data.

Existing collaboration between ELIXIR and GA4GH Beacons already resulted in six ELIXIR Beacons in Sweden, Finland, France, Switzerland, Belgium and in the European Genome-phenome Archive (EGA).

The future directions of this partnership can be summarised in the following points:

  • Establish the network of ELIXIR Beacons (e.g. Another ELIXIR Beacon will soon be launched in the Netherlands)
  • Developing new features (e.g. Some clinical information will be available in addition to genotype data)
  • Adding security measures to support extremely sensitive data sets and minimise risks to individual privacy
  • Encouraging national data owners to consider the flow of data to the Beacon service
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    Further information can be read on GenomeWeb and ELIXIR-Europe.