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Portugal joins Europe's leading bioinformatics research infrastructure

The ELIXIR consortium - European Life-Science Infrastrucutre for Biological Information - has as main objective to operationalize and manage large collections of information that is generated by the life sciences. ELIXIR integrates information from all over Europe, and makes it available to all scientists, in all areas of knowledge, thus contributing to new discoveries and advances in key areas such as medicine, agriculture, biotechnology and environment.

Portugal has now become the 10th country to sign the ELIXIR Consortium Agreement. It joins the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Israel, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the EMBL(European Molecular Biology Laboratory) as a full member. The ELIXIR consortium was recently identified as one of the priority infrastructures by the European strategic forum ESFRI (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures), for its potential in advancing scientific excellence, being strategically relevant for Europe, and being at the stage of immediate implementation. 

Being a member country of the ELIXIR infrastructure puts the Portuguese node, and the entire national scientific community, in a privileged position to benefit from the ELIXIR network, namely in areas of strategic interest to Portugal, such as health, natural resources and the sea. 

Miguel Seabra, President of FCT, comments, "We have recently completed the selection of the research infrastructures that will integrate the first National Roadmap of Research Infrastructures. Being a member of ELIXIR is fully aligned with our goal of ensuring a solid coherence and interaction between national infrastructures and their European counterparts, particularly those aligned with the ESFRI roadmap."

ELIXIR Director Niklas Blomberg is very pleased that Portugal is joining the consortium, "The knowledge and expertise of Portugal's scientific community in plant bioinformatics will undoubtedly be of great benefit to the whole consortium and to research in Europe. We look forward to working closely with the community in the coming years."