On 7-8 November 2023, ELIXIR-UK convened nearly 50 members of the UK Node community at The Norwich City Football Ground for its annual All Hands meeting.
Centered around the theme of fostering collaboration, active engagement and inclusivity, the event featured a comprehensive programme including talks, posters, interactive panels and round table discussions. Participants heard about the Node’s achievements, future plans and the ways to get involved.
Informative and stimulating talks
The joint heads of the Node, Carole Goble and Neil Hall, kicked off the event with a session highlighting the Node’s progress, its role in the 2024-28 ELIXIR Programme and in European projects, and offered a preview of BioFAIR, a proposed investment by UKRI in a national biocommons digital infrastructure, that ELIXIR-UK are leading.
The success of ELIXIR-UK was reinforced by an update from the ELIXIR Hub delivered by Jonathon Tedds, and talks from new Node members, Open Life Science and HDR-UK, about their future plans as part of the Node.
The ELIXIR-UK Fellowship was a highlight of the meeting, with inspiring impact stories from Korneel Hens, Saskia Lawson-Tovey, Manuel Lera-Ramírez and Sandra Ng.
Focused discussions with actionable strategies
Lively World Café sessions fostered small-group discussions at themed tables, encouraging diverse perspectives and knowledge exchange.
The first session covered ELIXIR 101, Data Management, the Health Data UK Community, Training in the UK, and Node Communications & Impact.
The second one debated ideas generated from the meeting to develop action plans for, equality and diversity mentoring, PI engagement in research data practices, data harmonisation across sectors, funding approaches for sustainability and for an ELIXIR-UK “front door”, as many highlighted the need to explain ELlXIR simply and to have clear pathways to become involved.
Key external perspectives: new members, funders, industry and advisory board
Inspiring talks from our funder representatives, Tim Shuttleworth and Richard Brown from UKRI-BBSRC, and from Helena Saunders from Syngenta provided valuable external perspectives, and shed light on the challenges facing industry. Helena has just been appointed to the ELIXIR Industry Advisory Committee.
We were delighted to welcome our SIAB members who attended the meeting and gave the Node sage advice in a dedicated Board meeting after the event.
The All Hands was dynamic, informative and fun. Participants left with a deeper understanding of ELIXIR-UK’s various facets, and new friends and colleagues. All fueled by Delia Smith’s splendid catering.
If you would like any more information on this event or any of the activities within the UK Node please contact us