Call for cardiovascular scientists to contribute data to multinational platform

Topics: Cardiovascular research, data sharing, big data

The first international platform for sharing cardiovascular data has been launched by euCanSHare, an EU-Canada funded project being implemented by 17 partners, led by the University of Barcelona (UB)1 and including the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).2 Cardiovascular researchers are encouraged to use the platform to browse, deposit and analyse data.

The project brings together information on more than one million individuals from 35 cardiovascular cohorts in the EU, Canada and beyond. It aims to accelerate research in personalised medicine for cardiovascular disease and to promote the responsible exchange of data while reducing cultural, behavioural and technological barriers to Open Science.

Project coordinator Dr. Karim Lekadir of the University of Barcelona, Spain said: “euCanSHare is an unprecedented effort to create a long-awaited international data platform for more responsible sharing and more efficient exploitation of large-scale cardiovascular research studies across institutions. euCanSHare will facilitate access to information on available cardiovascular datasets, while increasing trust through well-established and highly secure data management mechanisms.”

The platform, which is hosted on the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre’s (BSC’s) cloud, holds metadata on social and demographic factors, “omics” (DNA/RNA/proteins), cardiac imaging, lifestyle behaviours, and clinical data including outcomes.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide: ischaemic heart disease and stroke were responsible for the most deaths globally in 2019.3 The majority of heart attacks and strokes can be prevented with healthy lifestyles including physical activity and a nutritious diet, controlling body weight, and not smoking. Management is most effective when conditions are diagnosed early, and treatments are tailored to individual patients.

Personalised management relies on the discovery of individual biomarkers that identify who is at risk of cardiovascular disease and who will respond to a particular therapy. Research in this field requires integrating large amounts of cardiovascular data, including molecular, imaging and clinical data as well as lifestyle and demographic information from heterogeneous population and patient cohorts. This presents fundamental challenges for data storage, management and analysis, IT capacity, and accessibility4 – which are addressed by euCanSHare, the most comprehensive cardiovascular data catalogue ever assembled.

Consortium member Professor Steffen Petersen of Queen Mary University of London, UK, and president-elect of the ESC’s European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging (EACVI) said: “My research focuses on how to prevent, diagnose and treat heart failure in at-risk diabetic patients. Using multiple diverse cohorts from euCanSHare increases the statistical power of my research and enables me to more thoroughly investigate the role of lifestyle, ethnicity and genetics.”

“euCanSHare provides the privacy and governance mechanisms for the secondary use of data,” said Professor Bartha Maria Knoppers (McGill University, Canada) who together with Professor Pascal Borry (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium) leads the work package on ethics and interoperability.

The euCanSHare platform covers the entire research path, from data access to distribution of results. Features include: 1) a cohort browser and catalogue enabling professionals to search for cohorts to use in their research; 2) a controlled access manager user interface for providing credentials and requesting permission to use selected information (which will go live next year); 3) a data manager tool for new data depositions; 4) a data analyser workspace for approved users; and 5) written instructions and a helpdesk to guide new users of the platform.

In particular, the catalogue provides a detailed description of available datasets, including key variables, access policies and harmonisation status across cohorts. In the current version, the catalogue provides information on 310,000 individuals from 30 studies.

Consortium member Dr. Josep Lluis Gelpi of the BSC said: “The platform is cross-linked to well-established data infrastructures, such as the European Genome-phenome Archive (EGA) and the European Research Infrastructure for Imaging Technologies in Biological and Biomedical Sciences (Euro-BioImaging), to enhance and standardise data deposition, data security, harmonisation and sharing procedures.”

Funding: euCanSHare is a 4-year (2018-2022), €6 million Research and Innovation Action funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme (grant agreement No 825903), under the call H2020-SC1-BHC-2018-2020 (Better Health and care, economic growth and sustainable health systems). All Canadian partners are funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS).

euCanSHare Consortium

1. Universitat de Barcelona, Spain (Project Coordinator);

2. Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, Canada;

3. Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany;

4. Lynkeus, Italy;

5. Erasmus Universitair Medisch Centrum Rotterdam, Netherlands;

6. Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom;

7. Centre of Genomics and Policy, McGill University, Canada;

8. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium;

9. Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Spain;

10. Fundacio Centre de Regulacio Genomica, Spain;

11. European Society of Cardiology, France;

12. Biobanks and Biomolecular resources Research Infrastructure – European Research Infrastructure Consortium (BBMRI-ERIC), Austria;

13. Population Health Research Institute, McMaster University, Canada;

14. Terveyden ja Hyvinvoinnin Laitos, Finland;

15. Universitätsmedizin Greifswald, Germany;

16. Nostrum Biodiscovery, Spain;

17. University of Pompeu Fabra, Spain.


1For more information on EU-funded research projects, with Karim Lekadir’s involvement visit:

2For more information on ESC EU-funded research projects visit:

3World Health Organization. Global Health Estimates: Life expectancy and leading causes of death and disability. Available at

4Kirchhof P, Sipido KR, Cowie MR, et al. The continuum of personalized cardiovascular medicine: a position paper of the European Society of Cardiology. Eur Heart J. 2014;35:3250–3257.

About the University of Barcelona

The University of Barcelona is the major public university in Catalonia and one of the most prestigious higher education institutions in Spain.

About the European Society of Cardiology

The European Society of Cardiology brings together health care professionals from more than 150 countries, working to advance cardiovascular medicine and help people lead longer, healthier lives.

HealthyCloud: Defining the Strategic Agenda for the European Health Research and Innovation Cloud

● Funded by the European Commission, HealthyCloud will contribute a strategic Agenda towards the European Health Research and Innovation Cloud
● The project will work in collaboration with a broad range of stakeholders to ensure that all voices are included and that the results are technically and ethically sound.

Advances in health and biomedical sciences require that health research is performed timely, efficiently and oriented to high-quality results. To meet this need and to maximise the impact of health research, adopting best practices in health data management is essential. Accordingly, one of the priorities of the European Commission 2019-2025 is the creation of a
European Health Data Space (EHDS).

The EHDS will be a means to improve health research and its translation to healthcare at all levels: from public health to personalised medicine, through secondary use of health data. HealthyCloud will deliver a Strategic Agenda for the implementation of the European Health Research and Innovation Cloud (HRIC), which will be one of the cornerstones of the EHDS.

“In the HealthyCloud project, we have joined forces from multiple health and healthrelated domains to shape the future Health Research and Innovation Cloud”, said Juan González-García, Biocomputing Unit Manager at the Institute for Health Sciences in Aragon (IACS) and HealthyCloud Co-coordinator.

“HealthyCloud will pave the way for an effective health-related data sharing across Europe, contributing to the realization of the European Health Data Space. It is important to understand existing barriers that limit the effective exchange of healthrelated data. This effort will allow us to propose ethically sound, legally compliant and technically feasible open standards and protocols to overcome them”, said Salvador Capella, Spanish National Bioinformatics Institute (INB) Coordination Node Leader at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) and HealthyCloud Co-coordinator.

The Strategic Agenda will incorporate consolidated feedback from a broad range of stakeholders, including the European Commission, the Member States and regional, national, European and international relevant initiatives. These agents will be invited to be part of the HealthyCloud Stakeholder Forum, designed to facilitate the dialogue among them and the
Consortium, and to act as an umbrella to bring together similar efforts in specific domains.

HealthyCloud has been organised around four fundamental objectives that cover:

  1. interactions with stakeholders to ensure their voices are included as part of the Strategic Agenda;
  2. inclusion of Ethical, Legal and Societal aspects in the design of the future HRIC ecosystem;
  3. sustainable access, use and re-use of health-related data, available in several data collections spread in data hubs, considering a progressive adoption of the FAIR principles; and
  4. technological solutions in terms of computational facilities and mechanisms to enable distributed health data analysis across Europe.

The project is driven by two real-world use cases on cancer and atrial fibrillation, which will ensure that propositions by domain-specific and technological experts are technically and ethically sound and legally compliant. The ultimate goal is to propose the blueprint to create an
ecosystem that builds and reinforces the trust of patients and citizens in the use of their health data for research actionable through a portal that serves as an interface to interact with the cloud services.

About HealthyCloud
HealthyCloud (Health Research & Innovation Cloud) is funded by the European Commission with a budget of €3 million and is active from 1 March 2021 to 31 August 2023. It brings together 21 organizations from 11 countries with broad and yet complementary expertise, including
European Research Infrastructure Consortiums, national public health institutes, data hubs and academic institutions. The partners of the project are Instituto Aragonés de Ciencias de la Salud (IACS), Sciensano, European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ECRIN), EGI Foundation,
Biobanks and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure Consortium (BBMRI-ERIC), European Advanced Translational Research Infrastructure in Medicine (EATRIS), EuroBioImaging, Universitat de Barcelona (UB), Technologie Und Methodenplattform Fur Die Vernetzte Medizinische Forschung Ev (TMF), Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL),
Austrian National Public Health Institute (GÖG), Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), Servicio Andaluz de Salud (SAS), University of Luxembourg (UNILU), Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), CSC – IT Center for Science, University of Tartu, German Network for Bioinformatics Infrastructure (de.NBI-Cloud), Serviços
Partilhados do Ministério da Saúde Epe (SPMS), Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC).

Further information:
Contact: Esther Dorado, HealthyCloud Dissemination Officer,

EuCanImage: A new large-scale international project funded by the European Commission to build a secure and federated imaging platform for next-generation artificial intelligence in oncology

The EuCanImage consortium is pleased to announce that its €10-million grant proposal has been selected for funding by the European Commission, with a perfect evaluation score of 15/15 points. EuCanImage will build a federated, secure and scalable European cancer imaging platform, with capabilities that will enhance the potential of artificial intelligence in oncology. This 4-year research project will start on 1st October 2020 and will comprise 20 world-renown research institutions, companies and clinical centres across Europe and the United States.

The EuCanImage platform will be populated with a new data resource totalling over 25,000 subjects, which will allow to investigate unmet clinical needs like never before, such as for the detection of small liver lesions and metastases of colorectal cancer, or for estimating molecular subtypes of breast tumours and pathological complete response. Moreover, the cancer imaging platform, leveraging the well-established Euro-BioImaging infrastructure, will be cross-linked to biological and health repositories through the European Genome-phenome Archive, allowing to develop multi-scale AI solutions that integrate organ-level, molecular and other clinical predictors into dense patient-specific cancer fingerprints. Furthermore, to foster international cooperation and leverage existing success stories, the consortium comprises the coordinators of The Cancer Imaging Archive (TCIA), the US cancer imaging repository funded by the National Cancer Institute.

Karim Lekadir, EuCanImage’s Project Coordinator from the University of Barcelona, declared: “EuCanImage is an unprecedented opportunity to create a long-awaited European platform for sharing and leveraging large-scale cancer imaging and non-imaging data. It will leverage world-renown expertise in the fields of radiomics/radiogenomics, artificial intelligence, data protection, data management, and clinical oncology”.

The EuCanImage consortium consists of the following partners:

  1. Universitat de Barcelona, Spain (Coordinators)
  2. Universiteit Maastricht, Netherlands
  3. Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, Euro-BioImaging Node, Netherlands
  4. Barcelona Supercomputing Center, Spain
  5. Centre for Genomic Regulation, Spain
  6. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences / The Cancer Imaging Archive, United States of America
  7. Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure, Austria
  8. Universidad del País Vasco, Spain
  9. Lynkeus Srl, Italy
  10. Collective Minds Radiology AB, Sweden
  11. OncoRadiomics SA, Belgium
  12. Siemens Healthcare GmbH, Germany
  13. European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research, Austria
  14. European Society of Oncologic Imaging, Austria
  15. European Association for Cancer Research, United Kingdom
  16. Università di Pisa, Italy
  17. Fundació Clínic Recerca Biomèdica / Hospital Clínic de Barcelona, Spain
  18. Umeå Universitet, Sweden
  19. Gdański Uniwersytet Medyczny, Poland
  20. Kauno Klinikos, Lilthuania

Access to Research Infrastructure

For more information on how to access our research infrastructure, click here.

euCanSHare: EU-Canada joint data platform to facilitate multi-study cardiovascular research

Brussels, 11 December 2018

Today, the European Society of Cardiology’s (ESC) office in Brussels hosted the kick-off meeting for the EU-funded project, euCanSHare. The project will create a translational research platform to facilitate cardiovascular data sharing among sixteen leading research centres in the European Union (EU) and Canada. Once established, researchers will benefit from a consolidated one-stop, data shop to perform efficient and effective research that results in tailor-made patient treatment and better cardiovascular disease outcomes.

Even with recent declines in deaths, cardiovascular disease (CVD) continues to be the number one killer in Europe, causing 3.8 million deaths per year across Europe and the Mediterranean (1.8 million deaths in the European Union alone), with 30% premature deaths. Technology and data sharing through compiling and analysing large amounts of cardiovascular data holds the key to reducing premature deaths and increasing quality of life for those living with heart disease. There is a need for data-driven approaches that link molecular, imaging, functional and clinical data. This integration presents a formidable challenge to data storage, management and analysis, IT capacity and accessibility. The euCanSHare project is designed to fill this gap.

The project integrates the most well-established data infrastructures, namely the European Genome-Phenome Archive (EGA), Euro-BioImaging and BBMRI-ERIC, to enhance and standardise data deposition, harmonisation and sharing procedures. It integrates more than 35 Canadian and European cohorts that make up over 1 million records. These cohorts include -omics (genomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics, just to name a few) cardiac imaging and clinical data.

The platform will promote the responsible exchange of data and demonstrate the potential for cardiovascular research in personalised medicine. euCanSHare is committed to reducing the cultural, behavioural and technological barriers to Open Science. This will also allow better policy making as data driven policies unlock the innovation potential and develop better prevention and treatment methods.

The project coordinator, Karim Lekadir, said, “this is an unprecedented opportunity to create a longawaited platform for sharing cardiovascular data across the Atlantic. It can prove a model for expanding data sharing to other disease areas, and in effect, deliver personalised care to reduce premature deaths and improve quality of life.”

euCanSHare is a 4-year (2018-2020), €6-million Research and Innovation Action funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme (grant agreement No 825903), under the call SC1-BHC05-2018 (“International flagship collaboration with Canada for human data storage, integration and
sharing to enable personalised medicine approaches”). All Canadian partners are funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé (FRQS).

The euCanSHare project will actively collaborate with other joint Canada-EU projects funded as part of the same aforementioned research call (SC1-BHC-05-2018). These projects are EUCANCan, iReceptor Plus, EUCAN-Connect, CINECA and RECODID, which will cover other biomedical domains such as oncology, immunology, genetics and infectious diseases.

euCanSHare structure and participants
The Consortium consists of sixteen partners coming from academia, medical associations, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), research centres and data infrastructures:

  1. University of Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Spain (Project Coordinator)
  2. Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), Canada
  3. University Hospital of Hamburg (UKE), Germany
  4. Lynkeus (LYN), Italy
  5. Erasmus University Medical Centre (EMC), Netherlands
  6. Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), United Kingdom
  7. The Centre of Genomics and Policy, McGill University (MCGILL), Canada
  8. KU Leuven (KUL), Belgium
  9. Barcelona Supercomputing Centre (BSC), Spain
  10. Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), Spain
  11. European Society of Cardiology (ESC), France
  12. Biobanks and Biomolecular resources Research Infrastructure – European Research Infrastructure Consortium
    (BBMRI-ERIC), Austria
  13. Population Health Research Institute, McMaster University (MCM), Canada
  14. National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), Finland
  15. University of Medicine Greifswald, Germany
  16. Nostrum Biodiscovery (NBD), Spain

CORBEL 2nd Open Call for Research Projects

The CORBEL partners are launching a 2nd Open Call for research projects to meet the prevailing need for combined service provision from multiple research infrastructures across Europe. Taking on board lessons learned from the 1st CORBEL Open Call launched in 2016 and the services running since then, this will continue to provide all academic and industrial scientists in Europe with the opportunity to accelerate their research.

Europa om de hoek Kijkdagen 2016

In Nederland zijn er heel veel verschillende projecten die financieel worden ondersteund door de diverse Europese fondsen. De Europese Commissie en de Nederlandse overheid vinden het belangrijk om te laten zien wat er met dit geld gebeurt. Daarom organiseren we ieder jaar de ‘Europa om de hoek Kijkdagen’.

De zesde editie van de Kijkdagen staat gepland voor 13 en 14 mei. Tijdens de Europa om de hoek Kijkdagen openen een groot aantal projecten voor jou hun deuren om te laten zien wat zij precies doen.

Voor meer informatie:


Europa om de hoek, May 8-10, 2015

Dit jaar organiseren diverse Europese subsidieprogramma’s in Nederland voor de vijfde keer gezamenlijk de Europa om de hoek Kijkdagen. Tijdens deze dagen willen we zo veel mogelijk mensen laten zien wat er  – bij hen om de hoek – allemaal gebeurt met Europees geld.

EIBIR Summerschool August 24-28, 2015

The EIBIR Summer School on Neurology Imaging is a multidisciplinary summer school, uniting 50 young researchers coming from a variety of backgrounds. The high scientific level and the relaxed atmosphere invite a close and productive interaction between everybody present, both participants and staff.


  • Imaging modalities (MR, PET, CT)
  • Quantitative image analysis
  • (Open-source) tools for image analysis
  • Neuro- and population imaging and image analysis in clinical practice
  • Validation and open-source databases
  • Atlases
  • Applications in the clinic
  • Small animals and clinical trials

For more information click here.