Annual Report 2021

A year of exceptional life science research, training, service, industry collaboration, and integration of European life science research.

Making a difference

External reviews illustrate the impact of EMBL services

Independent reports confirm value of EMBL services. Credit: Creative team/EMBL

EMBL has long been known within the scientific community for its experimental and data services.

In 2021, two independent reviews confirmed the significance of the beneficial impact of these services, providing case studies and data about their value for researchers in the wider scientific community.

A report by the Technopolis Group found that EMBL’s experimental services were ‘vital’ for the research of 91 % of users. As well as this, 70 % of academic users indicated that using EMBL experimental services helped them deliver wider societal impacts in health, biotechnology, climate change, and food security.

Participants provided useful narrative feedback as well, like this comment from an EMBL academic user in Switzerland: “You are providing amazing facilities and services to the research community, essentially enabling scientific projects and building research careers.”
Likewise, a study by Charles Beagrie Ltd specifically looking at EMBL-EBI’s data resources underscored the value and impact of open data in the life sciences. The study highlighted that EMBL-EBI data resources underpin research impacts estimated to be worth £1.3 billion annually. Additionally, it calculated that the time saved, thanks to users not needing to recreate data, was worth £6 billion every year.

The EMBL Hamburg P14 beamline is a powerful microfocus beamline tailored for structural biology experiments using crystallography. Credit: EMBL

In addition to the vast economic value that these data resources provide, users realise their impact at an individual level too. One user from the UK commented: “EMBL-EBI has transformed what I and my team and students are able to conceptualise and achieve. I wouldn’t be able to do one-tenth of what I can or have done over the last 20 years.” 

“The survey results and case studies highlighted in these reports are a critical way to show the value of EMBL’s scientific services to the scientific communities in EMBL member states and beyond,” said Jessica Vamathevan, EMBL’s Head of Strategy.

Frank Kozielski

“EMBL Grenoble beamline services offer excellent infrastructures and a fully automated process, allowing us to run the project most efficiently, saving valuable time for our work on SARS-CoV-2.”

 Frank Kozielski, University College London, UK

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