BioFAIR, a collaborative virtual infrastructure that will support the sharing and management of life science data, has been awarded £6.3 million of new funding by UK Research and Innovation, the Earlham Institute reports.
BioFAIR seeks to connect life science data currently stored at different institutions and repositories. In the past data has been stored in different formats and is often lost when a project finishes or a researcher moves on. With BioFAIR this data will be retained; bridging the gap between researchers, institutional data repositories, and existing data infrastructures.
It will enable researchers to have access to much larger datasets and to mine historical data. The project hopes to accelerate discoveries and innovation.
The funding awarded by UKRI will be used to assemble and establish the core services for a data and analysis commons.
Professor Neil Hall, Director of the Earlham Institute, said: “Biology is increasingly becoming a big data science. Life scientists generate large and complex data sets, which have huge potential to transform our understanding of life on Earth – but only if we can make sense of all the data.
“This investment will not only empower researchers by providing the resources they need for better data management and analyses, it will also ensure data is preserved beyond the lifespan of an individual research project so the most value can be extracted from it.”
UKRI Chief Executive Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser said: “From drug discovery to advances in digital arts, advances in research and innovation depend on access to cutting edge equipment and facilities.
“We are investing £481 million across the UK that will ensure our talented people, teams and innovative businesses have access to the world-class infrastructure they need to unlock their full potential.”
The three-year £481 million investment is made from UKRI’s Infrastructure Fund. The lifetime UKRI Infrastructure Fund investment in this portfolio is estimated to be £1.6 billion.