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Delivering European Translational Information & Knowledge Management Services


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.


Reducing redundancy

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.

Enter eTRIKS

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.

Significant savings

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

Take advantage of the eTRIKS data curation service
IMI’s eTRIKS project is inviting IMI and other projects to use its data curation services for public studies. eTRIKS’s goal is to promote the effective management and sharing of translational research information for IMI projects. ###Public data repositories provide access to large amounts of data, but getting full value from them can be difficult. eTRIKS uses the open source tranSMART toolto provide access to different types of biological and clinical data in a well-structured environment. The project places a special emphasis on data cleaning and standardisation to deliver high data quality and improve cross-study compatibility.
-Learn more  about the eTRIKS curation services
-Projects can submit public data curation requests via this form
-For more information on how tranSMART works, watch this video
(July 2014) 

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. 
   - To stay up to date with eTRIKS, sign up to their blog and newsletter
(November 2013)

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.
   -   Sign up to receive the latest updates on the project by filling in the form to the right of the blog text.
(March 2013)

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.
(February 2013)



  • 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
  • University of Oxford, Oxford, UK


  • BioSci Consulting, Maasmechelen, Belgium

Other organisations

  • ID Business Solutions Limited, Guildford, UK

Facts & Figures

Start Date 01/10/2012
End Date 30/09/2017
Contributions   €
IMI funding 10 309 818
EFPIA in-kind 10 336 178
Other   3 139 745
Total cost 23 785 741

Links and Documents

Project website:

Project blog:

IMI funding per project participant



Project Coordinator
Ian Dix

Tel: +44 7748 761282
E-mail: ian.dix[AT]

Managing Entity
Yike Guo

Imperial College London
Tel: +44 207 594 8182
E-mail: y.guo[AT]