The recently signed Australian BioCommons / ELIXIR Collaboration Strategy Agreement allows for unprecendented cooperation on bioinformatics infrastructure between Australia and the EU.

A/Prof. Andrew Lonie1, Dr Rhys Francis1, Dr Corinne Martin2, Dr Andrew Smith2, Dr Niklas Blomberg2, Dr Jeff Christinasen3

1Australian BioCommons (University of Melbourne), Carlton, Australia
2ELIXIR, Wellcome Genome Campus, United Kingdom
3Australian BioCommons (Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation), St Lucia, Australia


In this presentation I will discuss the mutual benefits codified in the Strategy Agreement, and our operational approach to achieving them.


A new Collaboration Strategy between ELIXIR and the Australian BioCommons creates a cooperative plan to exploit international synergies between the two research infrastructures. This three-year collaboration will actively involve Australian BioCommons in many of the activities related to the European life science infrastructures.


A number of common alignment areas have been identified for collaboration including the adoption of international standards in software platforms, workflows, tools and data (such as the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH)). Supporting global research communities (such as in metagenomics methods, biodiversity, de-novo genome assembly, phylogenomics, plant phenotyping-genotyping), and the delivery of federated solutions to human data preservation and research access are prime examples of why these partners have come together to formalise a Collaboration Strategy.


ELIXIR and the Australian BioCommons are both already heavily involved in methodological platform and tool collaboration — a leading example of a joint project of interest being Galaxy, the open, web-based platform for collaborative research. International collaboration on training and training materials in bioinformatics has also begun, with ELIXIR Training Platform partners participating in the Australian BioCommons Training Advisory Group. Such initiatives will continue to strengthen links between BioCommons and ELIXIR over the course of this agreement.


The collaboration strategy between ELIXIR and the Australian BioCommons promises to identify our international synergies as we partner to tackle our shared challenges in biological research.


I am Director of the Australian BioCommons and A/Prof in the Faculty of Medicine, Densitry and Health Sciences, and the School of Computing & Informatics Systems at the University of Melbourne.

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