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28th February 2017: nextstrain.org wins Open Science Prize! 


Congratulations to Trevor Bedford, Richard Neher and their team, who win the grand prize of $230,000. The Open Science Prize is a collaboration between the Wellcome Trust, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to unleash the power of open content and data to advance biomedical research and its application for health benefit. 
 

The winners



Real-Time Evolutionary Tracking for Pathogen Surveillance and Epidemiological Investigation


Try out the prototype: nextstrain.org

The goal of this project is to promote open sharing of viral genomic data and harness this data to make epidemiologically actionable inferences. The team will develop an integrated framework for real-time molecular epidemiology and evolutionary analysis of emerging epidemics, such as Ebola virus, MERS-CoV and Zika virus. The project will use an online visualization platform where the outputs of statistical analyses can be used by public health officials for epidemiological insights within days of samples being taken from patients.

Find out more about the winning prototype
 

The prize

 
In the first phase of the Open Science Prize, six international teams received prizes to develop innovative tools or services that seek to unleash the power of data to advance discovery and improve health.

In the second phase, public input for the award was gathered via a global public voting portal. This public voting phase narrowed the six finalists to three top contenders who went forward to the next stage of review. Find out more about all six teams and their prototypes below.

We received 3,730 votes from voters representing 76 countries, highlighted in the map below. See a list of the countries.

3,730 votes were received from voters representing 76 countries



OUR SIX FINALISTS (teams listed in alphabetical order)

Fruit Fly Brain Observatory

MyGene2: Accelerating Gene Discovery with Radically Open Data Sharing (Runner-up)

OpenAQ: A Global Community Building the First Open, Real-Time Air Quality Data Hub for the World

Open Neuroimaging Laboratory

OpenTrialsFDA (Runner-up)

Real-Time Evolutionary Tracking for Pathogen Surveillance and Epidemiological Investigation (Winner)
 




Fruit Fly Brain Observatory




Try out the prototype: fruitflybrain.org


Allowing researchers to better conduct modeling of mental and neurological diseases by connecting data related to the fly brain

Mental and neurological disorders pose major medical and socioeconomic challenges for society. Understanding human brain function and disease is arguably the biggest challenge in neuroscience. To help address this challenge, smaller but sufficiently complex brains can be used. This application will store and process connected data related to the neural circuits of the fruit fly brain. Using computational disease models, researchers can make targeted modifications that are difficult to perform in vivo with current genetic techniques. These capabilities will significantly accelerate the development of powerful new ways to predict the effects of pharmaceuticals upon neural circuit functions.

Using computational disease models, researchers can make targeted modifications that are difficult to perform in vivo with current genetic techniques. Models of neural circuits affected by disease will enable parallel recording of the responses of multiple components of a model circuit that are currently difficult - if not impossible - to perform in vivo. These capabilities will significantly accelerate the development of powerful new ways to predict the effects of pharmaceuticals upon neural circuit functions.

See more detail on the team's profile page

See comments from the public on this prototype

The team

  • Aurel Lazar (Columbia University, United States)
  • Ann-Shyn Chiang (National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan)
  • Daniel Coca (University of Sheffield, United Kingdom)
  • Lev Givon (Columbia University, United States)
  • Dorian Florescu (University of Sheffield, United States)
  • Chung-Chuan Lo (National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan)
  • Luna Carlos (University of Sheffield, United Kingdom)
  • Paul Richmond (University of Sheffield, United Kingdom)
  • Adam Tomkins (University of Sheffield, United Kingdom)
  • Nikul Ukani (Columbia University, United States)
  • Chung-Heng Yeh (Columbia University, United States)
  • Yiyin Zhou (Columbia University, United States)

Contact 

Aurel Lazar

aurel[at]ee.columbia.edu
 



MyGene2: Accelerating Gene Discovery with Radically Open Data Sharing (Runner-up)



Try out the prototype: mygene2.org


Facilitating the public sharing of health and genetic data through integration with publicly available information

Approximately 350 million people worldwide and over 30 million Americans have a rare disease. Most rare diseases are Mendelian conditions, which means that mutation(s) in a single gene can cause disease. Over 7,000 Mendelian conditions have been described to date, but the causal gene is known for only half. Consequently, close to 70 percent of families who undergo clinical testing lack a diagnosis. MyGene2 is a website that makes it easy and free for families with Mendelian conditions to share health and genetic information with other families, clinicians and researchers worldwide in order to make a match.

See more detail on the team's profile page

See comments from the public on this prototype

The team

  • Jessica Chong (University of Washington, United States)
  • Michael Bamshad (University of Washington, United States)
  • Tudor Groza (Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Australia)
  • Craig McNamara (Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Australia)
  • Edwin Zhang (Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Australia)

Contact 

Jessica Chongjxchong[at]uw.edu

 



OpenAQ: A Global Community Building the First Open, Real-Time Air Quality Data Hub for the World

  


Try out the prototype: openaq.org

Providing real-time information on poor air quality by combining data from across the globe

Poor air quality is responsible for one out of eight deaths across the world. Accessible and timely air quality data is critical to advancing the scientific fight against air pollution and is essential for health research. OpenAQ aims to provide more timely information on poor air quality by combining the world’s publicly available, official real-time data onto one open-source and open data platform.

See more detail on the team's profile page

See comments from the public on this prototype

The team

  • Michael Brauer (University of British Columbia, Canada)
  • Joseph Flasher (DevelopmentSeed, United States)
  • Michael Hannigan (University of Colorado, United States)
  • Christa Hasenkopf (OpenAQ, United States)
  • Asep Sofyan (Institut Teknologi, Indonesia)

Contact 

Christa Hasenkopf

christa[at]openaq.org
 



Open Neuroimaging Laboratory

  



Try out the prototype: openneu.ro/start

 

Advancing brain research by enabling collaborative annotation, discovery and analysis of brain imaging data

There is a massive volume of brain imaging data available on the internet, capturing different types of information such as brain anatomy, connectivity and function. This data represents an incredible effort of funding, data collection, processing, and the goodwill of thousands of participants. The development of a web-based application called BrainBox will enable distributed collaboration around annotation, discovery and analysis of publicly available brain imaging data, generating insight on critical societal challenges such as mental disorders but also on the structure of our cognition.

See more detail on the team's profile page

See comments from the public on this prototype

The team

  • Roberto Toro (Institute Pasteur, France)
  • Sastrajit Ghosh (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States)
  • Katja Heuer (Max Plank Institute for Human and Brain Sciences, Germany)
  • Amy Robinson (Wired Differently, Inc., United States)

Contact 

Roberto Toro

rto[at]pasteur.fr
 




OpenTrialsFDA (Runner-up)



Try out the prototype: fda.opentrials.net



Enabling better access to drug approval packages submitted to and made available by the Food and Drug Administration

OpenTrialsFDA aims to increase access, discoverability and opportunities for re-use of a large volume of high quality information in the publically available Federal U.S. Food and Drug Administration drug approval packages. These review packages often contain information on clinical trials that have never been published in academic journals. However, despite their high value these FDA documents are notoriously difficult to access, aggregate, and search. As a consequence, they are rarely used by clinicians and researchers. The project will allow third party platforms to access, search, and present the information, thus maximizing discoverability and impact.

See more detail on the team's profile page

See comments from the public on this prototype

The team

  • Emma Beer (Open Knowledge International, United Kingdom)
  • Stephen Abbott Pugh (Open Knowledge International, United Kingdom)
  • Ben Goldacre (University of Oxford, United Kingdom)
  • Erick Turner (Oregon Health & Science University, United States)
  • Paul Walsh (Open Knowledge International, United Kingdom)

Contact 

Stephen Abbott Pugh

stephen.abbottpugh[at]okfn.org

 



Real-Time Evolutionary Tracking for Pathogen Surveillance and Epidemiological Investigation (Winner)



Try out the prototype: nextstrain.org

 

Permitting analysis of emerging epidemics such as Ebola, MERS-CoV and Zika

The goal of this project is to promote open sharing of viral genomic data and harness this data to make epidemiologically actionable inferences. The team will develop an integrated framework for real-time molecular epidemiology and evolutionary analysis of emerging epidemics, such as Ebola virus, MERS-CoV and Zika virus. The project will use an online visualization platform where the outputs of statistical analyses can be used by public health officials for epidemiological insights within days of samples being taken from patients.

See more detail on the team's profile page

See comments from the public on this prototype

The team

  • Trevor Bedford (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, United States)
  • Richard Neher (Biozentrum, University of Basel, Switzerland)

Contact 

Trevor Bedford

tbedford[at]fredhutch.org


 

ABOUT THE PRIZE
 

The Prize provides funding to encourage and support the prototyping and development of services, tools or platforms that enable open content – including publications, datasets, codes and other research outputs – to be discovered, accessed and re-used in ways that will advance discovery and spark innovation. It also aims to forge new international collaborations that bring together open science innovators to develop services and tools of benefit to the global research community.
 
This first round of the Prize consists of a two-phase competition. For the first phase, international teams competed for funding to take new ideas for products or services to the prototype stage, or to further develop an existing early-stage prototype.  Six prizes of $80,000 each have been awarded for teams to develop their innovation over a seven-month period. In the second phase, the phase I prize recipient judged to have the prototype with the greatest potential to advance open science will receive a prize of $230,000.
 
All teams applying for the Prize had to include at least one member based in the US, and at least one member based in another country.
 
The partner funders convened a panel of expert advisers to review Prize entries.  We also established a list of data resources to illustrate the types of content and data that teams might utilise in their innovations, which is also available as a Collection on the BioSharing platform.
 
Further information about the Prize can be found on the FAQ page.
 
Please note that the application process has now closed.
 
The Phase I competition
 

We had a fantastic response to the Prize, with 96 teams entering the phase I competition.  Teams included over 450 innovators from 45 countries, spanning 5 continents.  You can browse the 96 entries, and read more in this blog post.
 
We were enormously grateful for all the work the teams put into their applications.
 
The six phase I prize winners were announced publicly on 7 May 2016 at the 7th Health Datapalooza.

Webinar

The funders held a webinar on 10 December 2015 (11:00 EST; 16:00 GMT) to further discuss the Prize with potential entrants and answer questions.  The Webinar presentations are available, and the Webinar recording is available for download as an MP4 file.  A recording of the webinar may also be viewed on YouTube here.

Full competition schedule

Prize launched and opened for entries:
20 Oct 2015

Deadline for entrants for phase I prize: 
29 Feb 2016

Judging completed and phase I prizes announced:  
9 May 2016

Deadline for phase II applications (for phase I prize recipients):
1 Dec 2016

Phase II prize winner announced:
28 Feb 2017

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