FSD participates in the BY-COVID project to improve the discovery and use of COVID-19 data

The core aim of the BeYond-COVID (BY-COVID) project is to ensure that data on SARS-CoV-2 and other infectious diseases can be found and used by everyone. The project was officially launched on October 13, 2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect many lives globally. There has been a strong response across the world, with many nations generating and sharing vast amounts of data and locally tracking variants. Learning from this experience, we can develop resources, data standards and guidelines that will enable rapid application to novel emerging threats, and specifically unite and coordinate dispersed datasets from different institutes and countries, including data on public health and social sciences.

FSD participates in two work packages as a member of CESSDA. These focus on harmonising metadata and data on coronavirus across domains as well as on improving the discovery, integration, and citation of COVID-19 data to increase the potential for collaboration and exploitation of data.

The BY-COVID project strives to simplify data access and reuse through three main steps:

  • By ensuring raw sequencing data from across the world can be easily submitted to core data hubs, including CESSDA Data Catalogue.
  • By building technical capacity to allow linking of sequence data and metadata - expanding beyond scientific and medical data.
  • By providing recommended data management protocols and support analysis of Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable (FAIR) data on infectious diseases.

The project has 53 partners from 20 European countries. It is funded by Horizon Europe, the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, and coordinated by the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and ELIXIR, the intergovernmental organisation for life sciences in Europe.