• Home
  • Big Data in the H2020 Societal Challenge Health, demographic change and well-being
Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Big Data in the H2020 Societal Challenge Health, demographic change and well-being

May 21, 2015 @ 10:30 - 16:00




Workshop Goals

The plan for this workshop was to introduce the background, cover the main challenges, and seek real examples of the potential, challenges and complexities of using big data in the health domain.

The workshop’s outcomes will be used to design and realise the necessary ICT infrastructure and support the use and deployment of the BigDataEurope platform – maximising the opportunities of the latest European RTD developments, including multilingual data harvesting, data analytics, and data visualisation. The proposed platform itself aims to facilitate big data usage in real world examples, and will consist of an architecture, components, guidelines and best practices to make the best of Big Data in the health sector.


In biomedical science, big data challenges are driven by the variety and ever-increasing volume of data being generated, stored, accessed and analysed. Particular challenges in the context of health and wellbeing include the intensive data generation involved in genetic profiling, and other technologies used for the widespread gathering of information on health and disease.

These data represent significant hurdles to the understanding of disease and health. Even today our understanding of normal biological systems is considerably lacking, let alone our understanding of how that biology changes with disease. Other key challenges include how disease progression and therapeutic intervention can be measured, and what new ways data may be used to improve health and wellbeing.

The variety of publicly-accessible data relating to biomedical science is vast, and integrating that data represents a significant barrier to further developments of our understanding of biology and disease. In many cases there is a lack of standardisation of data relating to genetics, genomics, other ‘omics’ fields, drugs, drug targets, clinical measurements, diagnostic testing, biomarkers and their development, and more. Integration of all of this data into platforms which can be used to explore and discover findings, generate hypotheses, or uncover new knowledge and links is complex, if it is possible at all.

The lack of widely applicable interoperable data standards is a key limiting factor in big data approaches to healthcare. Development of such standards across the value chain would drive new insights into biomarkers, disease categorisation, patient segmentation, and more by enabling the integration of diverse and heterogeneous data sets. This integration is crucial to using big data to address fundamental questions in health; in isolation, individual data sets are far more limited in their potential for producing new insights into disease.


  • 10:30 – Welcome and Introductions
  • 11:00 – invited speakers introducing BigDataEurope, and highlighting experience of big data exploitation and bottlenecks
    • BigDataEurope Project Introduction, Simon Scerri, Fraunhoffer IAIS(20 mins)
    • Big Data in Drug Discovery – linking data to answer key questions, Bryn Williams-Jones, CEO Open PHACTS Foundation (20 mins)
    • Big Data bottlenecks in Academic Bioscience, Director of Bioinformatics, Williams Harvey Institute QMUL Mike Barnes (20 mins)
    • On the need for intelligent access to big data in life sciences, George Paliouras NCSR Demokritos (15 mins)
  • Outline of Breakouts (15 mins) Topics, requirements, and groups
  • 12:30 Lunch and networking
  • 13:15 Breakouts
    • Working groups to identify key issues and bottlenecks for exploiting big data in this societal challenge
  • 15:00  Breakout feedback – 10 mins per group
  • 15:30  Q&A, next steps, other meetings and workshops

Other Opportunities to Engage

There are many other opportunities for stakeholders to engage with the work being undertaken by BigDataEurope, including:

If you have any comments or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!


May 21, 2015
10:30 - 16:00
Event Categories:


BDE Consortium


Rue du Trône 98
Bruxelles, 1050 Belgium
+ Google Map
+32-2-548 02 11