EMBL-EBI will represent the subject area 'Health' in year 1, and collect the disciplinary requirements for infrastructural OA services in that domain.
EMBL-EBI is the European Bioinformatics Institute, located in Cambridge, UK (www.ebi.ac.uk). It is an international research and service institute, an Outstation of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). EMBL is an international research organisation with 20 member states, most of which are also EU members. The mission of EBI is to collect, organise and make available open access databases for bio-molecular research. It serves a collection of public domain databases along with tools to search, download and analyse their content. These databases include DNA sequences and protein structures, gene expression information, molecular interactions and pathways. Connected to these are linking and descriptive data resources such as protein motifs, ontologies and many others. In many of these efforts the EBI is a European node in global data-sharing agreements involving, for example, the USA and Japan. The EBI has a staff of about 350, most of whom are software engineers, database curators and support staff who maintain 24/7 access to +400 terabytes of data from the biomedical domain.
The utility of the EBI to the scientific community today is evidenced by massive use of its services. Typically its web portal sees well over three million hits per day from a user community of several hundred thousand individual scientists from all over the world. The community served ranges from academic scientists doing basic research to industrial researchers in diverse areas including pharmaceuticals, agriculture and nutrition. Alongside the core service activities, the EBI is a basic research institute, with bioinformaticians regularly publishing results of computational investigations of bio-molecular information. It has also a flourishing Industry Cooperation and SME support programme for European companies involved in bioinformatics.
- Stephen Spencer