On 2 July 2019, EMBL-EBI announced the launch of its
is an active component of this new initiative which will enable it to
grow into a sustainable petabyte-scale resource over the next few years.
Using funding from the UK Research and Innovation Strategic Priorities Fund, EMBL-EBI is building IT
infrastructure to support the BioImage Archive, including a scalable storage architecture (object store),
from which EMPIAR will benefit. EMPIAR is already getting too big to be supported by NFS file systems and
will therefore be migrating to the object store over the next few months. As the changes only involve the
back-end of EMPIAR, we anticipate that they will not affect deposition or retrieval of EMPIAR data. The
web-based user interfaces for both deposition and retrieval of EMPIAR data will appear unchanged.
Last year, EMPIAR became an official EMBL-EBI resource, which, together with its becoming part of the
BioImage Archive, will improve the support for and long-term sustainability of EMPIAR. This will help
EMPIAR transition from a small pilot archive with a relatively narrow scope (raw 2D image data related to
EMDB entries) at its launch in 2014 to a versatile, integrated and sustainable resource for EM-related
As the BioImage Archive is being built up over the next few years, EMPIAR users and depositors will
experience additional benefits. For instance, integration of the archiving of light-microscopy data and EM
data will enable transparent deposition and retrieval of data for correlative imaging modalities such as
CLEM and CLXM. It will also enable linking and integration of diverse bioimaging datasets from a variety of
modalities and on a range of length scales.