denbi Quarterly Newsletter a1

Issue 01/2022

New start for de.NBI

From January 2022 de.NBI is continued under the roof of the Forschungszentrum Jülich, member of the Helmholtz Association. Both, de.NBI and ELIXIR-DE administration offices including de.NBI Cloud Bielefeld and the Bielefeld part of the service center BIGI have changed affiliations and are operating from Bielefeld. Additionally, the ELIXIR communication officers located at the individual service centers have been employed by the FZJ. However, restructuring has not yet been completed and negotiations on the affiliation of the decentralized de.NBI partners are ongoing. In this context, the de.NBI Association (de.NBI e.V.), founded in August 2021, has been legally registered as a non-profit association and we hope that further funding can be acquired via this gateway. We will continue to update the interested public with our quarterly newsletters.

denbi Icon Extensive German participation in new ELIXIR Commissioned Services

ELIXIR Germany will participate in 10 out of 29 new Commissioned Services projects launched 01 January 2022. These projects bring together expertise from across ELIXIR’s Nodes and aim to provide methods to advance ELIXIR services and Platform and Community activities to cover a diverse collection of life-science and bioinformatics disciplines. Please see further information about Commissioned Services with German contributions here.

denbi Icon Alexander Goesmann elected Vice-Chair to the ELIXIR Board

The ELIXIR Board is the decision-making body in the intergovernmental organisation ELIXIR. The Board consist of scientific and administrative representatives from each ELIXIR Member State and EMBL. Board members are authorised to deliberate, negotiate and decide on behalf of the respective ELIXIR members. From January 2019 the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) appointed two scientific delegates from ELIXIR Germany to the ELIXIR Board: Prof. Rolf Backofen (University of Freiburg) and Prof. Alexander Goesmann (University Gießen). At this year’s November meeting of the Board Alexander Goesmann was elected as Vice-Chair to the ELIXIR Board for 2022 and 2023. Together with Prof. Ferran Sanz (Spain) and Isabel Rocha (Portugal) he completes the Chair of the ELIXIR Board for the next two years.

denbi Icon Ulrike Wittig elected new Platform Lead of the ELIXIR Data Platform

04 ulrike wittig small 1 1ELIXIR's activities are generally divided into five areas (Data, Tools, Compute, Interoperability, and Training) that are called Platforms. Each Platform has a Platform Coordinator based at the ELIXIR Hub and is managed by three Platform leads, with the scientific work being carried out by different groups within the Platform. The Platform Leads are collectively responsible for the operations and activities of their respective Platforms and help to drive new developments in these areas. In December 2021 Ulrike Wittig (HITS, Heidelberg) was elected as Platform Lead of the ELIXIR Data Platform. She will serve an initial two-year term starting from 1 January 2022. Ulrike Wittig replaces Jo McEntyre from EMBL-EBI and she will lead the Data Platform together with Patrick Ruch (ELIXIR Switzerland) and Silvio Tosatto (ELIXIR Italy).

denbi Icon 2,128 training course participants in 2021 – Attendance record despite corona pandemic

05 Training course statistics 2015 2021 Due to the coronavirus pandemic, de.NBI and ELIXIR Germany offered mainly online training courses in 2021. Six years ago, the de.NBI training program started with 17 f2f training courses and 329 participants, constantly increasing to 79 courses with 1,586 participants in 2019. In 2020, the practical conduct of training courses was significantly affected by the pandemic, but it initiated the development of online training courses and materials (40 courses with 1,149 participants). Due to the implementation of these newly designed formats, de.NBI/ELIXIR Germany reached a new attendance record of 2,128 training course participants (49 courses) in 2021. All in all, up to now 9,076 scientists have been trained in 371 courses by our bioinformatics network.

denbi Icon New de.NBI Cloud portal features

The de.NBI Cloud portal is ever evolving and our team is working hard on providing you with a better cloud system experience. From now on, we will regurarly update you on changes and new features of our project management system and in particular SimpleVM. Since this is our first feature update, we include some features and changes from the past two years which we think should be brought to your attention. In our update article we highlight
- an automated setup feature for workshops using cloud resources.
- updates on our browser-based research environments
- updates on our project management system

As always: Feedback in any form is greatly appreciated and can be sent to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

denbi Icon Two more de.NBI Cloud sites certified

Some research areas in life sciences touch the topic of sensitive data. To offer a reliable environment for the processing of such data in a verifiable way, the IT Center of the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen has pursued the certification of the de.NBI Cloud site in Tübingen according to the ISO 27001 standard. As such, well defined procedures have been documented easing the bureaucratic aspects related to sensitive data processing.

As the third de.NBI Cloud facility, the Albrecht Ludwigs Universtät Freiburg has implemented an information security management system for their de.NBI Cloud site and achieved an ISO 27001 certifcation to document a secure cloud environment. Preparations of the certification processes took more than two years.

denbi Icon Looking back to two “WiDS – Perspectives in Industry and Academia” Events in 2021

In 2021, Bayer AG and de.NBI / ELIXIR Germany organized two virtual public events entitled “Women in Data Science – Perspectives in Industry and Academia” promoting women doing outstanding work in data science across sectors. This lecture series was attended by about 150 participants at the first and 75 at the second event and was born out of the vision to showcase career models for women in data science. All in one, ten fantastic female professionals from academia and industry shared their experiences in building their own careers and highlighted opportunities for advancement. We are delighted that this series of lectures will be continued and look forward to the third event in spring 2022. Stay tuned!

denbi Icon AI Applications in de.NBI

Future oriented analysis of research data applying AI methods exemplified by efforts within the de.NBI consortium have recently been published in (p. 42-45). An overview on AI-oriented activities in de.NBI is summarized on the website.

denbi Icon News on Services

Numerous improvements of de.NBI services have been reported in the last quarter:

The tool for plant protein classification and annotation has been complemented with the textual annotation module prot-scriber based on blast/diamond outputs for any species.

1) LipidXplorer turns 10 with now 23K article accesses and 500+ citations.
2) Latest improvements have been published here.
3) Video update for the latest version of LipidXplore2 

1) New release 2022.1 comprises 76 new enzyme classes, 428 updated enzyme classes and more.
2) Tutorial video on introducing the feature Enzyme Detector.

1) 200.000 unique users visitors per year exceeded in December 2021, an all time high.
2) A new release comprising the largest update in the history of BacDive. Find the figures here ( link)
3) Latest publication "BacDive in 2022: the knowledge base for standardized bacterial and archaeal data" available.

Release 2021.12 with 3,251 new mass spectra added.

denbi Icon Upcoming Events

The next de.NBI training events are announced on


Responsible for Contents

A. Puehler, A. Tauch, T. Dammann-Kalinowski
de.NBI - German Network for Bioinformatics Infrastructure c/o Forschungszentrum Juelich
Forschungszentrum Juelich - IBG-5 Branch Office at Bielefeld University, 33594 Bielefeld, Germany

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