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The Generation Challenge programme is a global crop research consortium directed toward …

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- The Generation Challenge Programme Platform: Semantic Standards and Workbench for Crop Science

The vision of the platform development team of the bioinformatics and crop informatics subprogramme of the GCP is to establish a state-of-art but truly easy-to-use and extensible open-source workbench providing interoperability and enhanced data access across all GCP partner sites and, by extension, the global crop research community.

Although several attempts have been made in the past to build such globally integrative bioinformatics systems, few have the global distribution of partners, scope of crop research, diversity of data types, and magnitude of datasets in comparison to the GCP consortium, nor do they have the long-term project perspective of 10 years. In addition, the GCP platform is specifically targeted to bioinformatics for developing world crop research, in contrast to biomedical research, and also strives to integrate databases from many plants and crops less well represented by well-funded model organisms and crops.

In these respects, the GCP platform effort represents an extremely ambitious but very useful global public good resource for crop research. It is still conceded to be, in several respects, an incomplete evolving product, one with many rough edges and incompletely met end-user needs; however, the open-source and public nature of the project provides a credible venue for wide participation of interested developers and prospective end users in the future evolution and deployment of the platform.

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