Today (20 April) the European Commission together with several partners launched a European COVID-19 Data Platform to enable the rapid collection and sharing of available research data. The platform, part of the ERAvsCorona Action Plan, will bring together relevant datasets for sharing and analysis in an effort to accelerate coronavirus research. It enables researchers to upload, access and analyse COVID-19 related reference data and specialist datasets.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said: “Researchers will be able to store, share and analyse a wide variety of findings on coronavirus on this platform. From genomic data to microscopy and clinical data, for instance. The platform is an important part in the building of Europe’s Open Science Cloud.”
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “Launching the European COVID-19 Data Platform is an important concrete measure for stronger cooperation in fighting the coronavirus. Building on our dedicated support for open science and open access over the years, now is the time to step up our efforts and stand united with our researchers. Through our joint efforts, we will better understand, diagnose and eventually overpower the pandemic.”
The new platform will be an open, trusted, and scalable European and global environment where researchers can store and share datasets, such as DNA sequences, protein structures, data from pre-clinical research and clinical trials, as well as epidemiological data. It is the result of a joint effort by the European Commission, the European Bioinformatics Institute of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL-EBI), the Elixir infrastructure and the COMPARE project, as well as the EU Member States and other partners.
Cryo-EM structure of the 2019-nCoV coronavirus spike glycoprotein (EMD-21375). Image by EMDB.The European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) is Europe’s flagship laboratory for the life sciences.
Rapid open sharing of data greatly accelerates research and discovery, allowing for an effective response to the coronavirus emergency. The European COVID-19 Data Platform is in line with the principles established in the Statement on Data Sharing in Public Health Emergency and accentuates the Commission’s commitment to open research data and Open Science, which aims at making science more efﬁcient, reliable, and responsive to societal challenges. In this context, the platform is also a priority pilot, aimed at realising the objectives of the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC), and builds upon established networks between EMBL-EBI and national public health data infrastructures.