On October 13, Euro-BioImaging representatives participated in the BeYond-COVID (BY-COVID) kick-off meeting, marking the start of a new EU-project for pandemic preparedness. BY-COVID is an exciting interdisciplinary project led by ELIXIR that unites life science, medical, policy, social science and public health experts from across Europe. With 53 partners from 20 European countries, the BY-COVID project will run for three years and is part of the European Commission’s HERA Incubator plan ‘Anticipating together the threat of COVID-19 variants’.
BY-COVID will tackle the data challenges that can hinder effective pandemic response. The core aim of the project is to ensure that data on SARS-CoV-2 and other infectious diseases can be found and used by everyone as soon as they are available. BY-COVID will build and expand upon the successful COVID-19 Data Platform, a resource initiated in the early stages of the pandemic and led by EMBL-EBI. Since its launch, many countries have established their own national data hubs, which ensures that data produced locally can be instantaneously connected and shared with the central COVID-19 Data Portal.
Within this project, Euro-BioImaging will co-lead WP2, “Accessing heterogeneous data across domains and jurisdictions for enabling the downstream processing of COVID-19 and future pandemic episodes data.” “Our scientific community is producing large amounts of valuable imaging data related to COVID-19 and other infectious diseases which needs to find its way to public repositories like the BioImage Archive and the Covid-19 data portal, to ensure maximum impact of their research,” says Antje Keppler, Director of the Euro-BioImaging Bio-Hub. “In the BY-COVID project we will strive to combine biological research data from Euro-BioImaging and other Life Science Research Infrastructures users with patient molecular data, clinical health data, and socio-economic data by harmonizing the essential metadata, which will benefit the scientific process and guide policy making,” explains Aastha Mathur, Euro-BioImaging Image Data Coordinator.
Within the BY-COVID project, Euro-BioImaging is proud to support access to cross-domain heterogeneous Covid-19 data enabling easy downstream processing and improving our readiness for future pandemics.