On 10 March 2017, Professor Karel Luyben (TU Delft) welcomed the ‘Metabolomics GO FAIR Implementation Network’ as community initiative to start the European Open Science Cloud. The network aims to implement the FAIR data principles in the field of metabolomics in Europe. This will help scientists to exchange research data and workflows and to combine metabolomics data with other phenotypic data, enhancing the efficiency and impact of European life sciences research.
The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) was launched by the European Commission in 2016 with the aim to ensure that science, business, and public services reap benefits of the big data revolution. A group of ‘early mover’ EU member states is now working on the practical implementation of the EOSC in the GO FAIR initiative. Professor Karel Luyben, chairman of the GO FAIR taskforce: “The GO FAIR initiative welcomes the Metabolomics Implementation Network as one of the first GO FAIR Implementation Networks. We actively support this network as a key example to bring the vision of the European Open Science Cloud to life.”
The Metabolomics Implementation Network consists of key players in the European metabolomics community, including EMBL-EBI, Imperial College London, Leiden University, Oxford University, CIRRMP, CNRS, University of Jena, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, DSM, Euretos, the Hyve, and several Linked Data experts. The group signed the so-called ‘Leiden Declaration on FAIR metabolomics’, after a two-day European metabolomics workshop with over 30 participants. The network has set itself the following objectives:
- to form and develop the open Metabolomics Implementation Network on metabolomics data and services; we invite others to join;
- to collectively implement standards compliant with FAIR principles in the wider research community and to actively communicate these;
- to work closely together with other communities on better capturing and understanding phenotypes enabling integrated approaches;
- to support the GO FAIR initiative with the widespread implementation of the FAIR principles in the EOSC, contributing to a global open internet of FAIR data and services.
This should result in improved insight in the mechanisms of disease onset and progression, improved diagnostics and treatment options. It should also facilitate the implementation of personalised medicine and health approaches. In addition, this approach will enable insights in food quality, and the development of better, healthier, and more pest and drought resistant plants.
The workshop was initiated and led by professors Thomas Hankemeier and Barend Mons, and co-funded by the PhenoMeNal H2020 project and the Metabolights database project. The organisation was facilitated by the Netherlands Metabolomics Centre and the Dutch Techcentre for Life Sciences (DTL). Professor Geert de Snoo, dean of the Faculty of Science of Leiden University, concluded the meeting with appreciation: “As a sign of my commitment, I want to invite you back to Leiden University in autumn to discuss the first results as soon as the first steps of the implementation have been taken.”