ELIXIR-CONVERGE receives second uplift for COVID-19 variant surveillance
The ELIXIR-CONVERGE project has received a €2 million uplift from the European Commission (EC). The new funding aims to mobilise SARS-CoV-2 variant surveillance data tracking services and tools to feed the European COVID-19 Data Platform. The work is led by ELIXIR Switzerland and ELIXIR Norway.
In 2020, the EC already amended the ELIXIR-CONVERGE grant with an extra €2.8 million. The investment was destined to enhance human and viral data sharing through the ELIXIR Nodes and support the development of the European COVID-19 Data Platform. Both the first and second amendments have focused on enabling the rapid collection of COVID-19 data and offering open data to improve research efficiency and pandemic preparedness.
Aitana Lebrand (SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics) and our Deputy Head of Node Nils P. Willassen (UiT The Arctic University of Norway) will co-lead the new tasks of the project: mobilising viral genomes from national sequencing efforts to offer true open data resources for surveilling COVID-19 variants.
The task includes setting up submission and annotation pipelines to the European Nucleotide Archive (ENA), which will help link nascent and established national sequencing efforts to the European COVID-19 Data Platform. In addition, such efforts will ensure the commitment to the open sharing of variant data through the ENA.
The ELIXIR-CONVERGE project started in February 2020 to help standardise life science data management across Europe. It is funded from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme and involves 29 institutes in 22 ELIXIR Nodes.
For more information about the ELIXIR-CONVERGE Work Package 9, in which the new tasks are carried out, you can go to our dedicated page.
(Text slightly modified from original News article on ELIXIR web page)