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Table 3 Relevant initiatives for the European Health Research and Innovation Cloud (HRIC)

From: Towards a European health research and innovation cloud (HRIC)

ProjectAims/summaryCloud model usedReferences
CORBEL projectCreating a platform for harmonized user access to biological and medical technologies, biological samples, and data. The project has developed the data harmonization, ethics guidance, and user-access protocols necessary for transnational access to both pre-clinical and clinical research infrastructures and is piloting access to participant-level data from clinical trials [43]Scalable cloud-based provision of data access and compute across infrastructures[59]
ELIXIREuropean research infrastructure with 21 members and over 180 research organizations. ELIXIR is creating a network of local instances of the European Genome-Phenome Archive that give users controlled and secure access to raw data and precomputed results [44, 45]Hybrid cloud ecosystem:
i) Local, private clouds (e.g., EMBL-EBI Embassy)
ii) National community clouds (e.g., cPouta, MetaCentrum cloud, de. NBI)
iii) European research and innovation-oriented clouds (e.g., European Open Science Cloud (EOSC))
iv) Public/commercial compliant clouds (e.g., Google, Azure, Amazon web Service (AWS))
European Translational Information and Knowledge Management Services (eTRIKS)IMI-funded highly scalable cloud-based platform for translational research, information, and knowledge management providing open-source applications that can securely host heterogeneous data types, including multi-omics data, preclinical laboratory data, and clinical information, including longitudinal data sets. The platform is a robust translational research knowledge management system that is able to host other data-mining applications and support the development of new analytical tools [46]Scalable cloud-based platform for translational research and applications development. The Openstack technology is used to run a private cloud for eTRIKS[61]
European Medical Information Framework (EMIF)Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI)-funded project that has successfully improved access to human health data by providing tools and workflows that can be used to discover, assess, access, and (re) use human health data. The efforts of this IMI project are being extended through the European Health Data and Evidence Network (EHDEN) projectResearch analytical service approaches from EHR and cohort data platforms[62, 63]
Human Brain Project (HBP)
Medical Informatics Platform
The HBP Medical Informatics Platform allows researchers around the world to exploit medical data to create machine-learning tools that can analyze these data for new insights into brain-related diseases. The Medical Informatics web-portal [47] provides a software framework, based on federated and distributed computing, that allows researchers to mine clinical data stored on hospital and laboratory servers, without moving the data from the servers where they reside and without compromising patient privacyThe HBP Joint Platform plans to adopt cloud technology and provide those services through its computer centers (JSC-Jülich and CSCS-Lugano) together with BSC-Barcelona, CINECA-Bologna, and CEA-Saclay.
Software infrastructure:
i) The (base) infrastructure layer is accessible through an ‘Infrastructure as a Service’ (IaaS) interface
ii) Tools to enable simulation and modeling as well as data analytics workflows for neuroscience, which the HBP operates as a “Platform as a Service” (PaaS)
iii) Several software services for data-driven brain simulations and for virtual neurorobot design and operation offered in the form of ‘Software as a Service’ (SaaS). HBP operates the following SaaS:
a) Model-driven brain simulations
b) Neurorobotics simulation and development tools across the whole workflow the of neurorobotics life cycle
Human Brain Project (HBP) Knowledge Graph Data PlatformThe HPB Knowledge Graph (KG) is an online graph database that accepts submissions of anonymized human data, animal data, and models from the brain. All data that are made discoverable and accessible through a KG search have been curated. Data are also made available with integrated multilevel HBP Atlases, holding information about the brain in standard reference spaces [65]
Helix NebulaA pan-European public–private partnership initiative led by EIROforum and leading commercial cloud-computing partners. Since 2011, this project has been piloting the use of cloud computing to enable complex data analyses and large-scale data sharing, with life science-oriented projects ranging from complex genome assembly to assessing somatic variation in the context of different types of cancerHelix Nebula Science Cloud (HNSciCloud): hybrid cloud platform that links together commercial cloud service providers and publicly funded research organizations’ in-house IT resources via the GEANT network to provide innovative solutions supporting data intensive science. These services support the connection of the research infrastructures identified in the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) Roadmap to the nascent European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and are intended to create a single digital research space for Europe’s 1.8 million researchers[66]
European Open Science Cloud (EOSC)The pilot project has recently investigated the benefits of data and cloud computer sharing at a pan-European level in life science-oriented projects on pan-cancer analyses [31] and imaging. This initiative has been pursued across academic cloud-computing environments located in Western and Eastern Europe as well as Canada. Similar initiatives have been launched in the USA [8]Cloud-based services for open sciences—integration and consolidation of e-infrastructure platforms, federation of existing European research infrastructures and scientific clouds[25]
Pancancer Analysis of Whole Genomes (PCAWG)An international collaboration to identify common patterns of mutation in more than 2800 cancer whole genomes from the International Cancer Genome Consortium. This project is exploring the nature and consequences of somatic and germline variations in both coding and non-coding regions, with specific emphasis on cis-regulatory sites, non-coding RNAs, and large-scale structural alterationsHybrid cloud model. The data-coordinating center lists collaborative agreements with cloud providers’ AWS and an academic computing cloud resource maintained at the cancer collaboratory, by the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and hosted at the Compute Canada facility[67, 68]
RD-ConnectRD-Connect is an integrated platform connecting databases, patient registry data, biobanks, and clinical bioinformatics for rare disease research. It allows the integration of different data types (e.g., omics, clinical information, patient registries, and biobanks). Those integrated data can be accessed and analyzed by the scientific community to speed up research, diagnosis, and therapy development for patients with rare diseasesOnline secured platform connecting different types of patient-related rare disease data, enabling genome-phenome analysis[69]
COMPAREA network of collaborators of the Global Microbial Identifier initiative (GMI) that aims to improve the identification and mitigation of emerging infectious diseases and foodborne outbreaksOne-serve-all analytical framework and data exchange platform with various data integration for real-time analysis and interpretation of pathogen sequence data[70, 71]