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European researchers have forged a partnership with counterparts in the Western Balkans, North Africa and Latin America to strengthen cooperation in the fields of biomedical informatics (BMI), grid technologies and nanoinformatics. Their work is being carried out through ACTION-Grid, a project supported by the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) with funding totalling some €1 million. ACTION-Grid kicked off in June and will run for a period of 18 months.
The ACTION-Grid consortium aims to maximise the potential of biomedical data and computing resources. The project partners' work effectively reinforces the European Commission's position that research groups improve their understanding of activities carried out in target countries such as those from the Western Balkans and Latin America. The partners will focus on finding and fuelling cooperation, as well as identifying viable activities for the future. Besides establishing a collaborative environment between the regions, the seven-member consortium will exchange research results and contribute to improving the EU's Research Programme in a specific area.
Their work will develop training and mobility in BMI, grid and nanoinformatics. The consortium says the results will be integrated with data from an automated 'resourceome', an inventory of BMI/grid/nano methods and services developed by the ACTION-Grid team. This inventory can be accessed by researchers and users. Ultimately, the resourceome will enable researchers - from the across the board - to access the new technologies developed in the EU.'
With support from a panel of recognised experts, the consortium will also develop a White Paper, which will be presented to the EC so as to initiate new plans in the regions in question.
The dissemination of the ACTION-Grid results will be made possible via an international symposium on BMI and grid, as well as scientific publications, newsletters, press releases and a website.
The upshot of the ACTION-Grid project is that major achievements in the fields of BMI and grid computing, including tools, expertise and methods, can be reused and transferred to the Western Balkans, North Africa and Latin America. The knowledge gained in ACTION-Grid will also be incurred from key successes achieved by the consortium in the past. Examples include past EU-backed GRID-based projects, including Gripps, MediGrid, GLOP and eDiamond.
The EU has been relentless in its pursuit over the last 10 years to establish and implement initiatives linking clinical data and results from a myriad of projects, methods and tools in the BMI area. It should be noted that EU research in the areas of genomic and personalised medicine has encouraged scientists to participate in the various research projects that have got off the ground in the region.
Specifically, the link between ACTION-Grid and the field of medicine is nanoinformatics; ACTION-Grid is the EU's maiden project targeting the development of this discipline. The consortium says nanomedicine has the capacity to meliorate existing diagnostic methods and treatments.
Coordinated by the Biomedical Informatics Group at the Madrid Polytechnic University in Spain, ACTION-Grid brings together partners from Argentina, Chile, Croatia, France and Greece.
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