ELIXIR-LU first EKES webinar with PetaGene
December 07, 2020

In November, ELIXIR-LU and PetaGene shared the first EKES (ELIXIR Knowledge Exchange Scheme) pilot outcome — a webinar on genomic data privacy. This workshop was the basis for future collaboration between Petagene and ELIXIR Luxembourg, with a scope to expand to other ELIXIR Nodes. The webinar focused on the impact of regulations such as GDPR and HIPAA on how personal health data is stored, accessed and shared. PetaGene showed how its Encryption Platform, PetaSuite Protect, permits organisations to adhere to these regulations while enabling scientific collaboration to continue in a secure and compliant manner. Sarah Peter, systems administrator in the Bioinformatics Core of the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) at the University of Luxembourg and Shaman Narayanasamy from Megeno, a spin-off of the LCSB, shared their perspectives and experiences with the new regulations and requirements.

The webinar tackled the main challenges from a security perspective with storing these large datasets. For example, the speakers mentioned the difficult balance between strict security measures required for sensitive data and the need for flexibility when many different users and a multitude of ever-changing tools are involved.

The discussion also highlighted how GDPR sparked a lot of efforts at the LCSB and ELIXIR Luxembourg to improve data management and governance, with the development of new specific tools and trainings in data security and data stewardship. The webinar then ended with exchanges on interactions between academia and industry: how to best encourage closer collaborations and foster an environment in which academia can benefit from the innovations in industry and vice versa.

If you missed the webinar, you can still watch it on-demand.

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