Many IMI projects involve the integration of data from different sources, and until now every project has had to devise its own solutions to the problems raised by data sharing. Enter eTRIKS, which aims to create and run an open, sustainable research informatics and analytics platform for use by IMI (and other) projects with knowledge management needs. In addition, the project partners will provide associated support, expertise and services to ensure users gain the maximum benefit from the platform.
By the beginning of 2012, IMI had launched 30 projects, many of which involve the integration and analysis of diverse types of biological and medical data from a range of sources. This approach helps to speed up and improve drug discovery by allowing researchers to uncover new insights into disease progression and drug safety and efficacy for example. However, merging and managing all this data is far from easy. IMI’s first Strategic Research Agenda highlighted the need for a common knowledge management platform for IMI projects, but until now this has not been set up.
As a result, each project has had to invest in its own knowledge management system, resulting in considerable duplication of efforts and raising the risk that data will be lost when the project ends. Furthermore, to date there has been no agreed knowledge platform technology that could be used to build such a common service.
eTRIKS aims to deliver an open, sustainable translational research informatics / knowledge management platform based on agreed standards. The starting point of the project will be tranSMART, an open source platform that is already being applied successfully in IMI’s severe asthma project U-BIOPRED. The eTRIKS team will provide a suite of support services covering the whole translational research project life cycle, including business analysis, platform development, curation and hosting support, standards development, and ethics consultation.
By creating a single, open source platform that meets industry needs while remaining affordable for public partners, eTRIKS will deliver considerable cost savings for public private partnerships that use it. Furthermore, by ensuring the consistent implementation of format and content standards, eTRIKS will facilitate the reuse of data (with appropriate governance) to study new issues and speed up the development of new drugs for patients.
In the longer term, the project plans to develop a business model that will allow the platform to continue to operate after the initial IMI funding period. The partners also hope that their work will result in the formation of an active international translational research analytics and informatics community.
Achievements & News
eTRIKS' first community meeting
IMI’s eTRIKS project held its first community meeting entitled Translational Research Knowledge Management in Action in Barcelona, Spain on 31 January 2014. ###
Ewan Birney of the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) gave the keynote speech on EMBL-EBI and Elixir: the importance of a life science data infrastructure. The agenda also included presentations on the challenges faced and solutions from projects supported by eTRIKS, as well as the launch of the eTRIKS public server and platform 1.1.1.
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Transforming tranSMART: eTRIKS vision for knowledge management platform takes shape
IMI project eTRIKS is making progress towards its goal of turning the tranSMART knowledge management and analysis platform into an open system that ###can be readily adapted to diverse translational research needs. At a recent workshop, 40 people from 12 organisations reviewed the state of the art in the area and set out a roadmap for the development of the platform. Describing tranSMART as ‘a great opportunity for all stakeholders’, eTRIKS academic lead Yi-Ke Guo of Imperial College London said: ‘We are in the midst of a transition from a vender-owned, pharmaceutical company centric application to an open platform centred on the common needs of all translational research stakeholders.’ The key decision coming out of the meeting was the revision of the core of transMART into a set of pluggable components or ‘legos’. This will allow different projects and users to configure tranSMART to fit their needs.
- More information on the workshop can be found in an eTRIKS blog post.
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eTRIKS launches new version of TransMART knowledge management system
IMI’s eTRIKS project has launched a new version of its open, sustainable translational research informatics / knowledge management platform TransMART. ###The update is important because it includes the replacement of a proprietary component with an open source component, and so will allow the project to build on inputs from the wider development community. Using open source software instead of proprietary software will result in savings of some €350 000 in licensing fees over five years for projects using eTRIKS’s services. Elsewhere, the project has already delivered three webinars on TransMART and launched a LinkedIn group to provide updates on the project’s activities and encourage debates on issues relating to data and knowledge management.
- AstraZeneca AB, Sodertalje, Sweden
- Bayer Pharma AG, Berlin, Germany
- Eli Lilly, Basingstoke, UK
- F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG, Basel, Switzerland
- GlaxoSmithKline Research and Development Ltd, Brentford, UK
- H. Lundbeck A/S, Valby, Denmark
- Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, Beerse, Belgium
- Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
- Pfizer Limited, Sandwich, UK
- Sanofi-Aventis Research and Development, Chilly-Mazarin, France
Universities, research organisations, public bodies, non-profit groups
- Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, UK
- Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris, France
- CDISC Europe Foundation, Woluwe-Saint Lambert, Belgium
- University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg, Luxembourg
- BioSci Consulting, Maasmechelen, Belgium
- ID Business Solutions Limited, Guildford, UK
Facts & Figures
|IMI funding||10 300 000|
|EFPIA in-kind*||10 300 000|
|Other**||3 100 000|
|Total cost||23 700 000|
|* includes non-EU contribution of €0.6 million|
|** includes €1 million from ID Business Solutions Limited|
Tel: +44 7748 761282
Imperial College London
Tel: +44 207 594 8182