In 2016, DTL was awarded funding from Topsector Life Sciences & Health to address scientific and technical hurdles on the path towards optimal use of scientific data for personalised health, disease prevention and care.

Scientific data are typically scattered, hard to locate, with often unclear accessibility conditions. They are  frequently not interoperable and can thus not be utilised by researchers outside the project originally generating the data. Therefore, creating FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) data is a major step to achieve true data driven science and innovation. The plans of the European Commission to make all data derived from EU-funded research projects FAIR underline this.

The two-year project FAIR-dICT addressed the scientific and technical challenges, focused on the Top Sector Health, but in close collaboration with top team ICT. The project set out to:

  • fundamentally change the health and disease paradigm in the Netherlands,
  • demonstrate a leading role for Dutch industry and for the Netherlands as a guiding member state in the European Open Science Cloud, 
  • develop a comprehensive training programme for the data experts of the future.

The funds were used to develop a first prototype of an interoperable Data FAIRport, a FAIR data tool that allows (meta)data to be searched and accessed. The Data FAIRport transformed non-FAIR data into FAIR format as well. In addition, the project contributed to the building of a prototype of the Personal Health Train, together with partners in the Prana Data project, the STW perspectief programme, and BBMRI-NL.

FAIR-dICT demonstrated the added value of data interoperability, and thus created awareness for the virtues of FAIR data. This resulted in the growth of a consortium of partners that actively collaborate in implementing FAIR data publishing and e-health related technology.