BY-COVID is a €12 million Horizon Europe project, coordinated by ELIXIR, that strives to tackle the data challenges that can hinder effective pandemic response. The core aim of the project is to ensure that data on SARS-CoV-2 and other infectious diseases are accessible to all those who need it across research, healthcare, and industry. 

BY-COVID will build and expand upon the successful COVID-19 Data Platform, a resource initiated in the early stages of the pandemic and led by ELIXIR and EMBL-EBI. The COVID-19 Data Platform sort to assemble the existing elements of informatics infrastructure from core EMBL-EBI infrastructure and pathogen-focused tools built under the COMPARE project; as well as extend and enhance these elements and their operationalisation in both the COVID-19 Data Portal and SARS-CoV-2 Data Hubs.

Rather than focus purely on providing technical solutions to the biological data, BY-COVID will work with partners such as the Versatile emerging infectious disease Observatory (VEO) and the Public Health Information Research Infrastructure (PHIRI) to incorporate data from a broader range of disciplines, including public health and social sciences.

This interdisciplinary project involves 53 project partners from across 19 countries within Europe and draws together experts from the life sciences, policy and social science ensuring that the project is driven by a diverse range of science. Find out more in the news release on the BY-COVID website.

ELIXIR Belgium is involved in and contributing to WP4: Connecting the COVID-19 platform to analysis tools and local portals. Specifically, WP4 will develop, aggregate and integrate tools for analysis and visualisation of data in the COVID-19 Data Platform. It will provide a provenance framework for tracking of derived data and the transparency and trustworthiness of results which will ultimately improve trust in science. Researchers will be enabled to exploit the large volumes of data for tasks such as identification of variants of concern.

Other work packages are:

  • WP1: Support for virological analyses in emerging disease outbreaks
  • WP2: Access heterogeneous data across domains and jurisdictions
  • WP3: COVID-19 integration platform
  • WP5: A continuously evolving demonstrator project feeding the changing research questions that surface during an on-going pandemic
  • WP6: Engage, train and build capacity with national and international stakeholders
  • WP7: Outreach, communication, industry and public engagement
  • WP8: Coordination, project management and ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI)


13/10/2021 - 13/10/2024


ELIXIR-CONVERGE is a project funded by the European Commission to help standardise life science data management across Europe. To achieve this standardisation, the project will develop a data management toolkit for life scientists. The toolkit will help ensure more research data is in the public domain, which will give scientists access to more data. This will allow them to discover new insights into the challenges facing society, such as food security and health in old age, and help stimulate innovation in biomedicine and biotechnology.

The initial operational phase of ELIXIR, supported by the H2020 ELIXIR-EXCELERATE project (2015-19), focussed on the coordination and delivery of bioinformatics services from national Nodes. This laid the foundation for a coordinated European life science infrastructure. ELIXIR-CONVERGE will build on these achievements to deliver another critical component: the provisioning, across Europe, of distributed local support for data management. This will be based on a toolkit for researchers that enables lifecycle management for their research data, in compliance with international standards.

ELIXIR-CONVERGE will develop the national operations of the research infrastructure to drive good data management, reproducibility and reuse. Over 36 months and with partners from all 23 Nodes, ELIXIR-CONVERGE takes the next step to create a European data federation where interconnected national operations allow users to extract knowledge from life science’s large, diverse and distributed datasets.

By connecting ELIXIR Nodes to provide FAIR data management as a service, ELIXIR-CONVERGE will build national capacity and create a blueprint for operating sustainable Nodes in distributed research infrastructures. Read more.

ELIXIR Belgium is involved in and contributing to

Other work packages are:

1/2/2020 - 31/1/2023


The EOSC-Life project is a collaboration of 13 ESFRI Research infrastructures in the Health and Food domain to create an open collaborative digital space for life science in the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC). The project is coordinated by ELIXIR.

Life science research directly addresses key societal challenges and drives the bio-economy. To keep European Life Science at the forefront of global advances and to deepen our understanding of life and disease, the data, digital services and advanced facilities vital for life science research must be findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable (FAIR) across scientific disciplines and national boundaries. FAIR data and services improves reproducibility of biomedical research, drives new scientific discoveries and enables any researcher in Europe and across the world to access and use them.

In EOSC-Life the research infrastructures will publish data from facilities and data resources in the EOSC and link these FAIR databases to open and reusable Tools and Workflows accessible to users via Europe’s national and international life-science clouds. EOSC-Life will also connect users across Europe to a single login authentication and resource authorisation system and develop data policies needed to preserve and deepen the trust given by research participants and patients volunteering their data and samples. Read more.

ELIXIR Belgium (VIB) is involved in the work packageTools Collaboratory: Deployment of life-science data integration and analysis workflows in EOSC” (WP2). WP leads are Antonio Rosato (Instruct) and Jean-Karim Heriche (EuroBioImaging). For ELIXIR Belgium: Frederik Coppens. The Flemish Marine Institute (VLIZ) and the Ghent University are also involved in the EOSC-Life project, both via EMBRC.  

1/3/2019 - 28/2/2023


EXCELERATE helps ELIXIR to coordinate and extend national and international data resources and ensure the delivery of world-leading life-science data services. It supports a pan-European training programme, anchored in national infrastructures, to increase bioinformatics capacity and competency. Coordinated by the ELIXIR Hub, it involves 46 partners from 17 countries.

ELIXIR Belgium is involved in two work packages.

Integrating Genomic and Phenotypic Data for Crop and Forest Plants (WP7)
WP leaders: Paul Kersey (UK) and Celia Miguel (PT). ELIXIR Belgium: Frederik Coppens.

The main objective of WP7 is to design and test an infrastructure to allow genotype-phenotype analysis for crop and forest plants based on the widest available public datasets.  The specific objectives for WP7 are available on the ELIXIR website.

ELIXIR Node Capacity Building Programme – creating a Genome Annotation Network (WP10)
WP leaders: Jiří Vondrášek (CZ) and Bengt Persson (SE). ELIXIR Belgium: Yves Van de Peer and Lieven Sterck.

The ELIXIR Nodes are at very different levels of maturity, ranging from national infrastructures that have existed for over a decade or more to newly formed consortia. The ELIXIR Capacity Building Programme focuses on knowledge transfer between ELIXIR’s larger and more established Nodes, and from them to newer or smaller ELIXIR Nodes in less research-intensive areas of the EU. More info on WP10 is to be found on the ELIXIR website.

1/1/2015 - 31/12/2019