In June 2017, several free conferences were organized in Barcelona on the Elixir platform. Under the title Elixir Innovation and SME Forum, between June 6 and 7 this forum hosted several lectures and conferences by experts in biotechnology, genomics, and health. From Bitac, we did not want to miss this event, in which we had the opportunity to learn about the resources offered by Elixir.

Besides, during the event, we had the opportunity to share experiences and projects with the rest of the participants. Moreover, we could attend with them to the conferences of the forum, all with the objective of making known to the participants of the day the free resources and services related to the biosciences that can be accessed through Elixir. Both its European division in general and the Spanish one in particular.

Elixir Innovation and SME Forum

Elixir Innovation and SME Forum, an event on genomics, bioinformatics, and health

During the two days of the forum, several experts from the sectors of bioinformatics and genomics, as well as companies and entities attached to Elixir, offered various talks. In them, the assistants could appreciate several details about the databases and free tools of the platform. Moreover, they could also see different examples of the use of those organizations that have already utilized it, taking advantage of the use of public data to advance their business.

The forum was organized by Elixir Spain and the European Hub of Elixir in collaboration with various entities. Among them, the Bioinformatics Barcelona Association (BIB), the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), and the Biocat and Biomedical Research Park of Barcelona (Barcelona Biomedical Research Park, PRBB.) All its contents were aimed at companies and professionals from sectors related to genomics and health.


Elixir Innovation and SME Forum

Presentations and technical seminars at the Elixir Innovation and SME Forum

During all the two days of the event, all kinds of performances and technical seminars were held. All were taught by experts in the sector. Among them was the head of Elixir Spain, Alfonso Valencia. He is also part of the team of the Supercomputing Center of Barcelona (Barcelona Supercomputing Center, BSC-CNS).

Among the speakers, there were also representatives from the academic community. Attending, for example, Arcadi Navarro, Secretary of Universities and Research of the Generalitat de Catalunya and Ferran Sanz, of the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF). Sanz is also part of the Medical Research Institute of the Hospital del Mar in Barcelona. There was no lack of members of companies in the health sector, such as David Henderson of Bayer AG.

The technical seminars revolved around the educational resources of Elixir and the Bioinformatics Association of Barcelona (BIB). Agreements between public and private entities on open data were also discussed. Among others, they had the presentations of Serena Scollen (Head of Human Genomics and Translational Data of Elixir), Jordi Rambla (Head of the European Genomics Archive), Ana Ripoll (President of the Bioinformatics Association of Barcelona) and Philip Gribbon (Institute Fraunhofer).

There was also a roundtable on open data and tools that facilitate innovation. Alfonso Valencia participated in it; the CEO of Mind The Byte, Alfons Nonell Canals and Eagle Genomics CEO, Abel Ureta Vidal. Several talks were also held in which companies could present their work and advances in bioinformatics.