Bringing together life science resources from across Europe


ELIXIR unites Europe’s leading life science organisations in managing and safeguarding the increasing volume of data being generated by publicly funded research. It coordinates, integrates and sustains bioinformatics resources – such as databases, compute services, applications and training – across its member states and enables users in academia and industry to access what are vital for their research.

The challenge

The ELIXIR community initiated the development of the reference architecture for biomedical applications, called the ‘ELIXIR Compute Platform’. The platform is envisaged as a federation of compute and storage resources, operated according to community-agreed principles and with the use of centrally provided user access management services.

EGI-ELIXIR collaboration

ELIXIR was one of the Competence Centres (CCs) in the EGI-Engage project. The CC had two main activities:

  • Established a cloud infrastructure: the CC  brought together four providers (EBI, CNRS, GRNET, CESNET) into a federated cloud resource pool accessible for biomedical researchers with ELIXIR user IDs. The team simplified the way to federate OpenStack clouds; performed a compatibility study with the US-based JetStream cloud system and integrated the Terraform orchestrator technology to simplify porting of scientific applications.
  • Building on this cloud, the CC set up a set of scientific demonstrators to pilot its use. They were: META-Pipe (a metagenomics pipeline), cBioPortal, Marine Metagenomics, PhenoMeNal and Insyght Comparative Genomics.

Services used by ELIXIR

Cloud Compute


Operational Tools

Partners involved

The ELIXIR Competence Centre:

CESNET, CSC, CNRS, EGI Foundation, EMBL-EBI, GRNET, SURFsara, University of Indiana

More information

ELIXIR website

Newsletter article: Competence Centres & results in EGI-Engage