Oct 5, 2018 | Bio-IT World Staff

The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) held its annual event this week in Basel, Switzerland. Speakers presented the first set of deliverables developed under GA4GH Connect, the group’s 5-year strategic plan to enable real-world genomic data sharing by 2022, and opened the call for new GA4GH Driver projects.

The core of the GA4GH mission remains a focus on accelerating progress in genomic research and ensuring responsible sharing of genomic data, said Peter Goodhand, President of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research in Toronto, Canada, and GA4GH Executive Director, last October when GA4GH Connect was announced. GA4GH will focus on “cultivating a common framework of standards and harmonized approaches” for achieving the goals of progress and shared data, Goodhand said then.

Ewan Birney, co-director of EMBL-EBI and chair of GA4GH, echoed those sentiments during this year’s plenary session, adding that we are currently undergoing a change in how research and healthcare are brought together.

Earlier this year, representatives from the six GA4GH technical work streams and two foundational work streams, along with representatives of the first 15 Driver Projects, developed a strategic roadmap consisting of 28 deliverables spanning everything from data discovery, access, and transfer to mechanisms for secure cloud-based storage and analysis.

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