European Union makes $40M available for development of bioinformatics tools

Over the past month the European Union has revealed details of Horizon 2020, its $100 billion initiative to secure the competitiveness of the region through investment in innovative projects. And the bioinformatics sector is set to receive a slice of the cash, with the EU setting aside an initial $40 million for companies that can turn data into discoveries.

With research institutions producing ever-bigger data sets, the EU has recognized the need for new bioinformatics concepts and computational tools for prediction and modeling. To kick-start research into such technologies, the EU is offering financial support to organizations, particularly if they can help with three primary challenges it sees as being critical to the improvement of data handling and analysis.

Firstly, the EU is willing to offer cash to anyone who can improve integration of the disparate and sometimes largely incompatible data sets researchers encounter when collaborating. Analysis of the data sets is also high on the EU's agenda, with statistical methods to increase the interpretative and predictive capacity of data being singled out in its prospectus. Finally, the EU is looking for ways to visualize data. Again, tools that can handle and integrate data from disparate sources are a priority.

The United Kingdom is also looking to inject cash into its biotech information technology sector through a funding program for tools that could replace animals in early drug testing. Companies working on in silico modeling, computational chemistry or data mining are all invited to apply for the $6 million of allocated funding.

- here's the bioinformatics prospectus
- check out the U.K. plans