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EU ODP launches COVID-19 Data Portal to Aid COVID-19 research

EU ODP introduced a new portal dedicated to data researches regarding the COVID-19 pandemicCOVID-19 Data Portal.

Europe’s government state, European Commission, responsible for proposing legislation and implementing decisions, announced the launching of its new portal, the “COVID-19 Data Portal”.

The European Union Open Data Portal (EU ODP) provides access to an expanding range of data from the European Union (EU) institutions and other EU bodies. Data can be used and reused for commercial or non-commercial purposes.

Set up in 2012, the EU ODP aims to help the economy discover and construct innovative potentials by providing easy access and free of charge data.

With the unceasing spread of the coronavirus, the COVID-19 Data Portal aims to support the public by providing a better understanding of the COVID-19 pandemic. The portal is dedicated to COVID-19 related datasets, linked data stories and related initiatives. It is a section to all scientists studying the coronavirus disease.

According to Mariya Gabriel, the EU’s commissioner for innovation, research, culture, education, and youth, the new portal is an “important concrete measure for stronger cooperation in fighting the coronavirus.”

“Building on our dedicated support for open science and open access over the years, now is the time to step up our efforts and stand united with our researchers. Through our joint efforts, we will better understand, diagnose and eventually overpower the pandemic,” Gabriel said in a statement.

The COVID-19 Data Portal also provides other available resources that support the COVID-19 activities such as a set of building blocks like Big Data Infrastructure and Context Broker.

“Rapid and open sharing of data greatly accelerates research and discovery, which is essential to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated COVID-19 Portal – EMBL-EBI.

The said initiative is a joint effort by the Commission, the European Bioinformatics Institute of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL-EBI), the Elixir infrastructure and the COMPARE project, working with EU Member States and other partners.

“An unprecedented number of scientific efforts are taking place worldwide in order to help combat the new coronavirus epidemic (COVID-19). One of the biggest challenges in this fast-moving situation is to share data and findings in a coordinated way, in order to understand the disease and to develop treatments and vaccines,” said EMBL-EBI.

“To address this challenge, EMBL-EBI has set up the COVID-19 Data Portal, which will bring together relevant datasets submitted to EMBL-EBI and other major centres for biomedical data. The aim is to facilitate data sharing and analysis, and to accelerate coronavirus research,” the statement added.

EMBL-EBI also explained how to populate the COVID-19 Data Portal. “To rapidly populate the COVID-19 Data Portal, EMBL-EBI will bring together COVID-19 datasets that have been submitted to its public databases, including ENA, UniProt, PDBe, EMDB, Expression Atlas and Europe PMC,” said EMBL-EBI. “The data, which have so far been collated, include genes, protein structures, electron microscopy data and scientific publications.”

The EU ODP concerns also includes:

  • geographic, geopolitical and financial data
  • statistics
  • election results
  • legal acts
  • data on crime, health, the environment, transport and scientific research.
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