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The impact of European bioinformatics

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1 Author(s)
A. Valencia ; Protein Design Group, Univ. Autonoma de Madrid, Spain

Europe is undergoing a political integration process, the goals of which are still under discussion. Some countries, such as Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Holland, and Belgium, have coordinated aspects of their economy, including a common currency, under the administration of the European Commission. Key countries such as the UK and Denmark are still undecided about their degree of participation, and others, including most of the former Eastern-block countries, are actively seeking integration. The EC has limited power in equilibrium with the European parliament and national and regional governments. Direct funding of the sciences was not included in the EC's mandate. It was considered a strategic responsibility of the national governments. This political concept evolved into new modes of collaboration between countries and the EC. Bioinformatics could be a key area for these developments, because, if properly coordinated, it has great potential for generating added value to the new genomics and proteomic technology. Currently, some bioinformatics-related research is funded as networks of groups from separate countries, and others are funded as basic research services, such as databases. For example, the E-Biosci project, coordinated by the European Molecular Biology Laboratory as a large research institution, includes the participation of groups from different countries and one or two medium-sized companies. Other computational science and telecommunications-related programs are rarely accessible to the bioinformatics community.

Published in:

IEEE Intelligent Systems  (Volume:16 ,  Issue: 6 )