Last updated on 17-8-2023 by Marie Malingreau
Project duration:
October 1, 2021
September 30, 2024

In short

BY-COVID is a project that mobilises and connect COVID-19 data within the COVID-19 Data Platform to make it more accessible to laboratory scientists, public health researchers, medical staff, government officials and policy makers. Subsequently it provides a framework to make other infectious diseases data open and accessible to everyone. The project is unique in its truly interdisciplinary approach that brings together 53 partners from 19 European countries. 

Project description

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic a vast amount of data has been generated in various countries by numerous institutes, ranging from hospitals and medical centres to universities, research infrastructures, public health laboratories and consortia. As the data originate from a lot of different sources, it remains a challenge to identify the best data sources, connect the data and integrate these for effective analysis. 

To overcome this challenge the BY-COVID project aims to make comprehensive open data on SARS CoV-2 accessible to everyone across scientific, medical, public health and policy domains within the COVID-19 Data Platform. Looking beyond the COVID-19 era, the project also provides a framework for making data from other  infectious diseases open and accessible to everyone. Bringing together stakeholders across a wide range of disciplines, this projects has the ambition to build a bridge between public health, clinical sciences, social sciences, and molecular sciences.

To reach abovementioned goals, the BY-COVID objectives are to:

  1. enable storage, sharing, access, analysis and processing of research data and other digital research objects from outbreak research.
  2. mobilise and expose viral and human infectious disease data from national centres.
  3. link FAIR data and metadata on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19.
  4. develop digital tools and data analytics for pandemic and outbreak preparedness, including tracking genomic variations of SARS-CoV-2 and identifying new variants of concern.
  5. contribute to the Horizon Europe European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) Partnership & European Health Data Space (EHDS).



  • 53 partners
  • 19 countries


As shown in the figure below, the project is built around four main pillar across which the work is divided into eight work packages: 

Work Packages (WP) Leading Institute, Country
WP1 Support for virological analyses in emerging disease outbreak ELIXIR / EMBL-EBI

WP2 Accessing heterogeneous data across domains and jurisdictions for enabling the downstream processing of COVID-19 and future pandemic episodes data 

  • Sciensano contribution: EU health information system unit (clinical and health data tasks)
WP3 COVID-19 integration platform  ELIXIR / EMBL-EBI

WP4 Connecting the COVID-19 data platform to analysis tools and local portals

  • Sciensano contribution: EU health information system unit (development of an infectious disease toolkit)
WP5 A Continuously evolving demonstrator project feeding the changing research questions that surface during an on-going pandemic to solutions 
  • Sciensano contribution: Public health and genome unit (WP lead; use-cases) 
Sciensano, Belgium
WP6 Engage, train and build capacity with national and international stakeholders
  • Sciensano contribution:  EU health information system unit (training and engagement tasks)
WP7 Outreach and communication, industry and public engagement
  • Sciensano contribution: Cancer centre (Citizen engagement tasks)
WP8 Coordination, project-management and Ethical, Legal and Social Implications
  • Sciensano contribution: Public health and genome and EU health information system unit (ELSI implementation and DMP)
WP9 Ethics requirements  ELIXIR / EMBL-EBI

Technical information

Type of Action HORIZON Research and Innovation Actions Grant agreement number: 101046203
Budget  €12M
Lead Coordinator NIJZ, Slovenia
Domain / Area Infectuous Diseases

More information on the project website 

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