On 18–19 February, 2016, we celebrated the successful completion of the Open PHACTS project with a conference on linking life science data in Vienna, Austria.
79 attendees from a broad cross-section of backgrounds gathered to discuss what lessons have been learned from the success of Open PHACTS, and how the Open PHACTS Foundation will take the project’s outcomes forward.
Looking back there have certainly been some challenges along the way – there were several interesting anecdotes shared at the closing conference. But overall the development of the Open PHACTS Discovery Platform has been a remarkable success, demonstrating just what can be achieved when the private and public sectors work together.
Several presenters highlighted one key factor in the project’s success: people. Although Open PHACTS began as somewhat of an “arranged marriage”, over the last five years the project has fostered and supported a community that has become much closer to a real family. We managed to bridge not only the cultural divides among different nationalities, but also the divide between scientists and engineers – which some would argue is much bigger!
The Open PHACTS Foundation looks forward to continuing to work with the people who made this project such a success, and with new partners who can contribute novel perspectives and ideas on the future of linked data.