I just saw the following tidbit at the end of an article about the British government switching to requiring open access:
The U.K. government has committed over $230 million for the development of an online infrastructure dedicated to open access objectives and pledged $120 million to the development of the European Bioinformatics Institute’s Elixir project, a potentially leading repository for bioinformatics information.
It seems that Elixir is being run by Janet Thornton (who is still heading EBI). Their “about” page says
The purpose of ELIXIR is to construct and operate a sustainable infrastructure for biological information in Europe to support life science research and its translation to medicine and the environment, the bio-industries and society.
Because of new technologies such as next-generation DNA sequencing, data produced in biological experiments is doubling every few months, and this rate is increasing. In addition, new types of data are constantly emerging that need to be integrated meaningfully.
The collection, curation, storage, archiving, integration and deployment of biomolecular data is an immense challenge that cannot be handled by a single organisation or by one country alone, but requires international coordination.
This sounds only a little more ambitious than what EBI has already been doing—I’d like to know what is new in Elixir. Is it just a new funding mechanism, because the work that needs to be done is outstripping the funding mechanism for EBI? Or is it a totally new direction with radically different goals?