ELIXIR-UK All Hands 2020

This year the ELIXIR-UK All Hands meeting looked a little different to usual, as it went virtual for the first time. Held on the 10th and the 11th of December, the first online meeting saw record attendance with over 70 people registering.

On the first day, attendees were welcomed by our heads of node, Carole Goble and Neil Hall, before Jen Harrow delivered an update from the ELIXIR Hub, where she is the Tools and Platforms Coordinator.

Carole and Neil then gave an update from the ELIXIR-UK node. Neil emphasised how important the army of volunteers who give their time to enable the success of ELIXIR-UK are, and Carole highlighted the excellent work that has been carried out by our members over the past year. This includes many of our services pivoting in an extremely short time period to provide resources for essential Covid-19 research, the high profile of ELIXIR-UK at this year’s ELIXIR All Hands in June, and the success of the Conference on Bioinformatics and Computational Biology where ELIXIR had a very strong presence.

We also had updates from funders, Community Engagement officer Hannah Norman, and a call from Krzysztof Poterlowicz for people to join our two new working groups in Data Management and Training.

We then had a series of short talks from each of the new ELIXIR-UK services. Thanks to all those who presented, the talks highlighted how much exciting work is being carried out by our services. The speakers mentioned how successful 2020 has been, with PSIPRED seeing a 30% increase in users on 2017 numbers, and PomBase successfully securing funding to create PombeMine.

For the rest of day 1 and most of day 2, we were joined by Technopolis, the consultancy group helping to conduct a feasibility study into BioFAIR, a potential new UK data sustainability institute. Thank you to all those who participated in the discussions, as these will be key to informing the outcome of our feasibility study.

The All Hands meeting concluded with a series of breakout groups on Data Management, Training, Health Data and the 3D-BioInfo Structural Bioinformatics Community. There were many fruitful conversations during these breakout sessions and throughout the event, so please watch this space as we form exciting plans for the new year!

Once again, thank you to all who attended, presented, and took part in the discussions. This year’s event looked different to usual but with so much engagement from attendees, you made it another successful event. We look forward to welcoming all our attendees back in 2021!

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