GHGA joins EU project to support integration of genomics into healthcare

Today, the European Genomic Data Infrastructure (GDI) project kicks off in Brussels, Belgium. The new €40 million GDI project, coordinated by ELIXIR, is jointly funded by the European Commission under the Digital Europe Programme and through co-funding from participating Member States. The aim of the project is to realise the 1+MG initiative’s ambition to enable secure access to human genomics and corresponding clinical data across Europe by creating data infrastructure. The project involves a consortium of partners from 20 European countries and will facilitate a cross-border federated network of national human genome collections for biomedical research and personalised medicine solutions.

The GDI project aims to unlock a data network of over one million genome sequences for research and clinical reference. This will create unprecedented opportunities for transnational and multi-stakeholder actions in personalised medicine for common, rare and infectious diseases. Authorised data users, such as clinicians, researchers and innovators, will be able to advance understanding of genomics for more precise and faster clinical decision-making, diagnostics, treatments and predictive medicine, and for improved public health measures to benefit European citizens, healthcare systems and the overall economy. 

GDI in Germany

The GDI project plans to work in close collaboration with  various ongoing initiatives in Germany -such as GHGA, genomDEMedical Informatics Initiative (MII) and Network University Medicine (NUM).  Together this supports  the closer collaboration between these players to further the digitalisation of health care in a unified way.

Within the German part of the GDI project, the goal is to connect the genomic data stored in GHGA to the pan-European GDI infrastructure. Here the focus will be on technical and legal interoperability with the new European network. GHGA will, in close collaboration with genomDE, build the German node for the GDI infrastructure. To achieve this, GHGA is supported both by the European Union, but also via funds provided by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), and the University of Tübingen.

European picture

Highlighting the importance of having an infrastructure for genomic data, Serena Scollen, the GDI Coordinator and Head of ELIXIR Human Genomics and Translational Data team, said: ‘Genomes will soon be generated more routinely as part of healthcare. To realise the full promise of genomics and its implementation into healthcare, it is critical to facilitate research and innovation and integrate findings into the clinic and healthcare. One of the biggest challenges we face is the lack of infrastructure - needed to support the discovery, access, sharing and analysis of human genomics data on a massive scale. By working together, countries will be able to deploy infrastructure to facilitate secure cross-border data access. Ultimately the benefit will be for the citizens of Europe and through shared learnings and improved healthcare, citizens globally.’

GDI is an exciting project that will deploy sustainable and secure cross-border linkage of and access to a multitude of genomic and related phenotypic, clinical and other datasets across Europe. Coordinated by ELIXIR, the project will be the driving force to create a data space for genomics data to implement the 1+MG initiative and benefit European citizens.