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Common Infrastructure for National Cohorts in Europe, Canada, and Africa

Project description

An international clinical infrastructure for complex diseases

Human cohort studies and national healthcare initiatives are generating large biomolecular datasets, which researchers and clinicians require access to. The EU-funded CINECA project will develop a federated cloud-based infrastructure for making genomic and biomolecular data accessible. It has assembled a virtual cohort of 1.4 million individuals from population, longitudinal and disease studies such as the European Genome-phenome Archive (EGA), CanDIG, and H3Africa. The project will develop solutions both to the challenges of delivering transcontinental security requirements for data access, and to the ethical, legal, and societal commitments where data cannot move outside a legal jurisdiction. The project has already contributed to harmonising metadata, based on open global standards, which will drive variant and sample discovery in trans-continental virtual cohorts.


Thousands of human genomes and other biomolecular datasets are now being generated in health, rather than research contexts. Centralised storage and analysis of these is no longer technically feasible for data harmonisation, curation, sharing or analysis and ethical, legal, social reasons. CINECA’s vision is a federated cloud enabled infrastructure making population scale genomic and biomolecular data accessible across international borders, accelerating research, and improving the health of individuals across continents. CINECA will leverage international investment in human cohort studies from Europe, Canada, and Africa to deliver a paradigm shift of federated research and clinical applications. The CINECA consortium will create one of the largest cross-continental implementations of human genetic and phenotypic data federation and interoperability with a focus on common (complex) disease, one of the world’s most significant health burdens. The partners represent a unique combination of scientific excellence with experience of eleven diverse cohorts and scientific projects such as the European Genome-phenome Archive, CanDIG, and H3Africa. CINECA has assembled a virtual cohort of 1.4M individuals from population, longitudinal and disease studies. Federated analyses will deliver new scientific knowledge, harmonisation strategies and the necessary ELSI framework supporting data exchange across legal jurisdictions enabling federated analyses in the cloud. CINECA will provide a template to achieve virtual longitudinal and disease specific cohorts of millions of samples, to advance benefits to patients. CINECA will leverage partner membership of standards and infrastructures like the Global Alliance for Global Health, BBMRI, ELIXIR, and EOSC driving the state of the art in standards development, technical implementation and FAIR data.

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 1 548 808,75
Meyerhofstrasse 1
69117 Heidelberg

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Baden-Württemberg Karlsruhe Heidelberg, Stadtkreis
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 1 548 808,75

Participants (18)