Ireland Announced as ELIXIR's Newest Observer Country

Written by: Will Fitzmaurice
Written on: Tuesday, 03 November, 2015

It was announced yesterday that Ireland has become the newest Observer country for ELIXIR, the European Research Infrastructure for biological information. ELIXIR unites Europe's leading life science organisations in managing and safeguarding the massive amounts of data being generated every day by publicly funded research.

This is the first step in the process of Ireland potentially becoming an ELIXIR Node, joining sites throughout Europe which run the infrastructure's resources and services including data resources; bio-compute centres; services for the integration of data, software, tools and resources; training; and standards expertise. 

ELIXIR currently has 15 European Nodes including the European Biomolecular Laboratory (EMBL), UK, Netherlands, Sweden, France and Spain, each offering services based on their national research and infrastructural expertise to the European research community.


The goal of ELIXIR is to orchestrate the collection, quality control and archiving of large amounts of biological data produced by life science experiments. Some of these datasets are highly specialised and would previously only have been available to researchers within the country in which they were generated.

For the first time, ELIXIR is creating an infrastructure – a kind of highway system – that integrates research data from all corners of Europe and ensures a seamless service provision that is easily accessible to all. In this way, open access to these rapidly expanding and critical datasets will facilitate discoveries that benefit humankind.

Science and technology change very quickly, and exploiting these advances can be a challenge. ELIXIR partners are building an intelligent, responsive and sustainable system that will deliver the fruits of these advances to the scientists upon whom so many hopes are pinned, and whose curiosity is the very cornerstone of progress.