The eTRIKS project
- developed and deployed the eTRIKS data management platform, used by over 70 projects (exceeding the consortium’s goal and of 40 projects), and made available through the TranSMART foundation;
- developed a suite of publicly available data curation tools which are now offered as a service by eTRIKS spin-off: Information Technology for Translational Medicine which currently has 7 employees and more than 30 clients (Pharma, biotech, project consortia);
- developed guidance on standards (“Standards Starter Pack”) and reuse of data;
- made more than 180 curated translational research data sets publicly available https://datacatalog.elixir-luxembourg.org/.
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, there was no agreed knowledge platform technology that could be used to build such a common service.
eTRIKS aimed to deliver an open, sustainable translational research informatics / knowledge management platform based on agreed standards. The starting point of the project was tranSMART, an open source platform. The project resulted in 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.