GA4GH announces open call for new Driver Projects

5 Oct 2018

GA4GH will select up to five new Driver Projects for 2019, focusing on international genomic data initiatives that can increase the organization’s global representation, have significant scientific merit, and capacity to contribute to GA4GH development efforts.

BASEL, Switzerland (October 5, 2018) — The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) today announced an open call for new Driver Projects. GA4GH Chair Ewan Birney made the announcement on the final day of the organization’s 6th annual Plenary Meeting, taking place this year in Basel, Switzerland.

“Driver Projects are essential to the success of GA4GH. They help ensure the work we do is versatile, fit-for-purpose, and grounded in real-world genomics work,” said Birney, who is also Director of the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI). “With the correct representation of real-world genomic data initiatives guiding the development efforts of our Work Streams, we can be certain that the standards we produce meet the needs of the community.”

GA4GH Driver Projects are real world genomic data initiatives that guide the development of GA4GH interoperability standards and pilot those standards. They help ensure GA4GH Work Streams produce standards that are fit-for-purpose and relevant to the Broad genomics community.

Driver Projects applications will be evaluated by an External Review Committee and up to five will be selected for the program based on a series of criteria across three categories: (i) global representation, (ii) scientific merit, and (iii) capacity to contribute.

“Our existing Driver Projects, which currently number 15, have brought in the important perspective of the genomics community based in the UK, US, and Australia,” said Peter Goodhand, GA4GH CEO. “What we need now is truly global representation, which we will be focusing on with the addition of these new projects.

Current GA4GH Driver Projects include Genomics England, ClinGen, Australian Genomics, the NIH All of Us Research Program, and the ELIXIR beacon network.

Projects and initiatives that are interested in becoming a GA4GH Driver Project can see the full list of criteria and apply online.

In addition to DPs, GA4GH has also announced another type of collaboration called GA4GH Collaborative Projects. These are real world initiatives that participate in standards development without making the level of commitment required by Driver Projects.


The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) is an international, nonprofit alliance formed in 2013 to accelerate the potential of research and medicine to advance human health. Bringing together 500+ leading organizations working in healthcare, research, patient advocacy, life science, and information technology, the GA4GH community is working together to create frameworks and standards to enable the responsible, voluntary, and secure sharing of genomic and health-related data. All of GA4GH builds upon the Framework for Responsible Sharing of Genomic and Health-Related Data.

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