Update on the RD-Connect hackathons in 2016

19 January 2017


The RD-Connect Jamborees organized in the previous years aimed at speeding-up the development of the RD-Connect platform and integration of bioinformatic tools. In 2016, which was the fourth year of the RD-Connect project, the format was modified. Instead of a single Jamboree, RD-Connect has organized seven highly specialised hackathons with RD-Connect experts and associated project users. The hackathons aimed to:

  • Evaluate the various database structures and concepts as well as programming languages for the platform development and to select the most relevant ones to handle very large datasets.
  • Define the RD-Connect’s code of practice.
  • Work on implementation of tools developed by RD-Connect or other relevant systems into the platform.
  • Evaluate the Yabi tool and its potential link to the RD-Connect platform to handle other -omics data.
  • Prioritize integration of tools into the RD-Connect platform considering their availability and technical challenges for implementation.
  • Address the authentication process to access the RD-Connect platform.

The smaller, focused hackathons amongst developer teams from different European institutions were very productive.

During the past year, RD-Connect has organized the following hackathons:

  1. “RD-Connect platform ID mapping” (20-21/01/2016, Centro Nacional de Análisis Genómico, Barcelona, Spain) – The goal of the hackathon was to draft a plan to link the different IDs (participants, registries, biobanks, EGA, data, etc…) and to get started with its implementation.
  2. “RD-Connect Aveiro Hackathon” (16-17/02/2016, Aveiro, Portugal) – The hackathon focused on implementation of a proof-of-concept with RDF including IDs from different elements of the RD-Connect platform.
  3. “Developer’s Hackathon” (11/3/2016, UAB, Barcelona, Spain) – This meeting followed the RD-Connect annual meeting in Barcelona. The developers discussed priorities, plans for integration of resources and organized task forces to address the open issues such as platform architecture, platform security, common application program interfaces (APIs), a software tool PhenoTips, documentation, ID mapping, patient registries, biobanks and analysis of other -omics data.
  4. “ID-Card / Sample Catalogue integration” (8-10/06/2016,  Medical University of Graz, Austria) – At this hackathon, RD-Connect partners from University Medical Center Groningen, Medical University of Graz, Fondazione Telethon, Karolinska Institutet and Istituto Superiore di Sanità investigated and implemented further integration between the sample catalogue and the ID-Card system and to define the next generation of the ID-Card system
  5. “CAS integration hackathon” (21-22/09/2016, Centro Nacional de Análisis Genómico, Barcelona, Spain) – The hackathon focused on aligning and integrating the security of the different elements of the RD-Connect platform through the Central Authentication System (CAS). It brought together developers from the general platform, the genomics platform, ID-Cards, Sample Catalogue and CAS. The hackathon was attended by the partners from Centro Nacional de Análisis Genómico, Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas, University Medical Center Groningen and University Medical Center Göttingen.
  6. “MOLGENIS FAIR Hackathon” (19-20/10/2016, Dutch Techcentre for Life Sciences, Utrecht, The Netherlands – Partners from University Medical Center Groningen and Leiden University Medical Center investigated and implement a proof concept of the FAIR (Findabile, Accessibile, Interoperabile and Reusabile) datapoint application program interfaces (API) in MOLGENIS, a semi-automatic system to find, match and pool data from different sources.
  7. “Registries hackathon/Bring Your Own Data” (26-28/10/2016, Leiden University, The Netherlands) – Linking the data at the source – already within the database of and individual patient registry – is essential for data exchange between registries and cross-resource questions, which speed up rare disease research and international collaborations and clinical trials. To allow this, partners from University Medical Center Groningen, Leiden University Medical Center, UMURD and German Cancer Research Center implemented linked data at the source in registries software.

To update a larger panel of B-projects partners with the most recent developments of the RD-Connect platform and tools, RD-Connect is planning a Jamboree in 2017.