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Providing broad access to life science data and tools will enable world-class interdisciplinary research and directly benefit society

The lasting impact of the EOSC-Life ambition to connect data, tools, clouds and people across geographies into an open collaborative digital space for digital biology will be a step change in data-driven life science for Europe.

Through the European Open Science Cloud, scientists – in industry and academia – can access data from advanced technology platforms with the tools and expertise that allow integration across disciplines and geographical barriers. Good ideas and excellent science will not be limited by the individual scientist’s local access to leading facilities.

At the level of individual Member States, EOSC-Life represents substantial added value. The development of pan-European standards, services and training programmes supports the integration of national capabilities and gives confidence in the synergy and sustainability of investments. This is supported by a broad geographic involvement of national expert centres – research infrastructure nodes – in EOSC-Life. Access to advanced life science infrastructures is a key objective of the Smart Specialisation Strategies of many European regions. These efforts are set to directly benefit from the implementation of Europe-wide standards through EOSC-Life and through our established partnerships link these with ongoing global efforts (e.g. MIAPPE, NIH Data Commons, GA4GH, RDA).

Unblocking the legal and administrative barriers for sharing human research data across geographical and organisational boundaries – while preserving the trust of research participants – will pave the way for continent-scale cohorts in life science research. This will represent a significant innovation as sharing and joint analysis of sensitive data has been severely limited due to different restrictions inherent in the different classes of sensitive data. In the long term, the BMS RIs will be in the position to provide guidance that lowers barriers for biomedical and health research projects in a GDPR-regulated environment.

While this project cannot solve all the challenges of cross-border sharing of human data, the planned establishment of a common framework for sharing translational research, biobanking and clinical trial data will be a critical step towards truly pan-European cohorts – enabling Europe to take a leading role in personalised medicine.

We will benchmark our ambition for EOSC-Life by following the uptake of our data resources and by tracing the research impact and industrial use of data. By shaping EOSC to the needs of the life science community, we will provide a unique opportunity for scientists to access and integrate an unprecedented richness of data resources. The use of common metadata specifications, cataloguing and indexing in data catalogues will make BMS RI datasets widely accessible across disciplines. Just as bioinformatics was born out of access to biological sequence and structure data, we wish to foster new data-science disciplines in cutting across biomolecular data, biological images, and rich phenotypic assays. Through our open calls we aim to attract leading European scientists; rigorous peer-review will drive internationally competitive projects.

EOSC-Life unites 13 Research Infrastructures in the health and life sciences