Following the success of the ELIXIR BioHackathon2018 and BioHackathon2019, and building on the BioHackathons organised by National Bioscience Database Center (NBDC) and Database Center for Life Science (DBCLS), we are planning to run BioHackathon2020 in Barcelona on 9th-13th Nov 2020. We hope to build on our success and encourage more ELIXIR and non-ELIXIR participants to take part and also have industry engagement.


BioHackathon activities are driven by practical sessions where people gather, discuss, and implement ideas/projects during intensive and productive coding sessions. The topics will be aligned to challenges proposed by ELIXIR platforms (data, tools, compute, interoperability and training), ELIXIR communities (Human Data, Rare Diseases, Marine Metagenomics, Plant Science, Metabolomics and Proteomics), and a set of common challenges proposed by the sister BioHackathon organised in Japan.


  • Advance the development of an open-source infrastructure for data integration to accelerate scientific innovation. We will focus on technology implementations such as FAIR, identifiers, metadata standards, ontologies and metadata catalogues that support the operations across ELIXIR platforms (Compute, Data, Interoperability, Tools, and Training)
  • Engage the technical people in the bioinformatics community inside and outside ELIXIR to work together on topics of common interest aligned to ELIXIR activities
  • Strengthen the interactions with ELIXIR platforms and communities to establish and reinforce collaborations through hands-on programming activities.

Expenses and funding

Travel and accommodation

Registration for the BioHackathon is free. The cost of accommodation includes all meals and refreshments during the meeting when booked at the venue.

Registration will be done in two phases

  • Participants nominated to work on selected projects will be invited to register first (approx 60 participants)
  • Registration open to everyone will be open in June.

Participants are expected to cover their accommodation and travel unless invited by project leads of selected projects (see selected proposals). Staying at the venue is highly preferred, since it maximises networking with all participants and gets the most out of the hacking.

Venue and accommodation details


New developments

  • Prototypes,”proof-of-concept” proposals or drafts that can evolve and integrated into production later

Existing developments and resources

  • Testing new versions
  • Gathering information on possible new features
  • Reaching new users and improving awareness

Personal and community building

  • Collaborative learning from discussions with peers
  • Sharing interests that could bring people to organise or grow communities

Hacking Topics

Selected hacking topics will be published on the website after review by the BioHackathon Programme Committee. We are expecting topics to be of relevance to life science bioinformatics communities in general and may include areas such as standardised workflows, containerisation, schemas and identifiers, ontology tooling, metadata validation, and training. We encourage submissions of hacking topics from the public and private sector.

  • Industry engagement

    Companies interested in submitting hacking projects should submit their project proposals via the Easy Chair Submission System. The projects will be evaluated alongside the academic project proposals by the programme committee. If you have any questions, for example regarding the scope of your project, contact Kathi Lauer (ELIXIR Industry Officer).

    More info Contact
  • Call for proposals

    The call for hacking projects is open from 2nd March and will close on 30th April 2020. All project submissions will submitted through the EasyChair submission system by the nominated project lead and should include the following details

  • Information required

    • Title and description of the project (500 max word limit)
    • Include how the project aligns to the ELIXIR goals around platforms and communities
    • The contact details of the person leading the hacking project who will further be the main correspondent (we will only contact this main correspondent
    • Expected outcomes from BioHackathon and beyond
    • Expected Audience: type of participant needed to help with the project
    • Number of days for the hack (Note, it is expected that all participants stay for the 4 days even though some projects may not require the full 4 days for completion )
    • Nominated Participant:Please name who you would like to be funded to attend for your project (this could be an expert in the field or one of the task leads. Max of 2 people should be named)
  • Selection criteria

    The programme organising committee will select the project based on the following criteria

    • Alignment with ELIXIR goals around platforms and communities
    • Application to broader life science communities
    • Achievability of the timeline of delivery
    • Ambition - is your proposal a cutting edge project applicable to general bioinformatics?
IP Disclaimer


Campus La Mola
Camí dels Plans de Can Bonvilar, S/N, 08227 Terrassa, Barcelona, Spain