5th Open PHACTS Community Workshop

Shaping the future of open PHACTS (Amsterdam, the Netherlands)

The fifth Open PHACTS Community Workshop was held at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Amsterdam Centraal Station in Amsterdam on October 10 and 11, 2013. The Workshop focussed on “Shaping the Future of Open PHACTS” and featured discussions of the Open PHACTS successor organisation, the Open PHACTS Foundation and recent progress in the project.

The first day featured talks describing the recent progress of the Open PHACTS project, and the up and coming API beta version 1.3. The establishment of a support portal, continued development of the app ecosystem and the use of OpenLink Software’s Virtuoso Triple Store were outlined as being important to ensure platform sustainability. Paul Groth presented the API usage statistics showing September’s API hits to be higher than any other month, and highlighted the unique forum offered by the project and Open PHACTS Foundation.

Use of the Open PHACTS API within the pharmaceutical industry were presented, including the answering of difficult research questions via Pipeline Pilot, many of them part of the published list of usecases.

The establishment of the Open PHACTS project’s successor organisation, the Open PHACTS Foundation, was announced. The benefits of the Foundation being a UK-based not-for-profit organisation, owned by members were outlined. Future projects and priorities of the Foundation were discussed; the integration of internal and commercial data, the inclusion of disease data in the Open PHACTS Discovery Platform, and a virtual machine version. The sustainability plans and timeline for the Foundation the membership levels were also described along with the Governance structure.

The second day was taken up by technical discussions regarding the API and conversations regarding the likely business needs of potential Open PHACTS Foundation customers.

The hashtag #OPhuture was used to discuss the workshop on Twitter.


Thursday 10th October 2013

Welcome and Introduction (Gerhard Ecker, University of Vienna)
An introduction to the Open PHACTS Discovery Platform and project.

What has Open PHACTS done so far? (Lee Harland, Connected Discovery)
Outline of the Open PHACTS project’s progress and what has been delivered up to now.

What does Open PHACTS offer? (Paul Groth, VU University Amsterdam)
A discussion of the power of the Open PHACTS API, the app ecosystem and the unique forum offered by the Open PHACTS Discovery Platform.

Industry use case: Janssen (Jean-Marc Neefs, Janssen)
Overview of the internal use of the Open PHACTS API with Pipeline Pilot to answer difficult scientific questions.

Industry use case: Eli Lilly (Derek Marren, Eli Lilly)
Outline of the use of the Open PHACTS Discovery Platform within Eli Lilly.

Scientific use case: SIB (Christine Chichester, Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics)
Description of practical workflows for addressing scientific questions and published use cases.

The future for Open PHACTS (Richard Kidd, Royal Society of Chemistry)
The timeline of the Open PHACTS project and the plans for sustainability.

The Open PHACTS Foundation (Bryn Williams-Jones, Connected Discovery)
Introducing the Open PHACTS project’s successor organisation, the Open PHACTS Foundation.

Friday 11th October 2013

Technical discussions

Business case discussions


Please find here the full list of 5th Community Workshop Attendees.


The Community Workshop was well attended and the overall response was positive regarding progress made by the Open PHACTS project and the potential offered by the Open PHACTS Foundation. Breakout discussions on the second day highlighted the eagerness of many community members for using the API and learning how to become further involved with the Open PHACTS Foundation.