The Circular Health project involves a collaboration of research institutes, universities, and not-for-profit organisation led by the One Health Center of Excellence at the University of Florida, US. Together, we are working on the definition, design and implementation of a large-scale open-access data platform to support novel paths to collaborative research for global challenges. Circular Health aims to contribute with both efficient technical tools and methodologies for governance.
Global crises, like the COVID-19 pandemic, have shown the importance of accelerating multi-disciplinary research and easing barriers to locating, aggregating, processing and sharing data and results. Doing so is necessary for addressing complex challenges that involve medical, social, or economic data.
CERN has years of experience in designing large-scale, collaborative data platforms and has developed efficient tools like Zenodo, SWAN and REANA to facilitate sharing, reproducibility and collaboration. Through Circular Health, CERN can contribute to solving critical issues and can support scientific research beyond high-energy physics.
This project is being carried out in the context of CERN's strategy for knowledge transfer to medical applications, led by CERN's Knowledge Transfer group.
CERN started its collaboration with Circular Health as part of the CERN Against COVID-19 Task Force, which was established by CERN’s management in March 2020. During 2020, experts from CERN openlab and the CERN IT department have collaborated with researchers at the One Health Center of Excellence in Florida, US, as well as at both Bocconi University and Milano-Bicocca University in Milan. Together, we defined the initial requirements for the data and computing infrastructure. We then deployed a first project focused on assessing excess mortality linked to COVID-19 through comparison with data from previous years.
At the end of 2020, following our initial investigations, Fabiola Gianotti, the CERN Director-General, supported the creation of a new dedicated project called CERN Science for Open Data (CS4OD). Its mission is to integrate CERN tools and expertise into a platform for supporting international projects. It will use open-access data and will support the CERN-linked UN Sustainable Development Goals.