Genome sequencing initiated a new age in biology. Now, the emphasis is on the biological interpretation ofthe genome: zooming on the biological functioning of the gene-products, i.e. the proteins, emerging into afiled termed proteomics. Protein levels depend not only on mRNA levels, but also on translational controls ®ulated degradation, making the measurement of expression at the protein level a prerequisite. The expressionlevels of all proteins, their modifications, localization and interactions, provide the most relevant single data setcharacterizing a biological system.

The PRIME-XS consortium aims to provide an infrastructure of state-of-the-art proteomics technologies to the European biologicaland biomedical research community. Its twelve partners, all leading in the field of proteomics, will provide accessto their technology at six access facilities, distributed over Europe, will develop new technologies to better aid theresearch community in answering current day scientific questions, and will organize a wide range of meetings,courses and training events to disseminate their knowledge and expertise. Special emphasis will be placed onextending this knowledge to new member states of the European Union and other regions of Europe with lessprivileged availability of proteomics facilities.

Access to the facilities will be advertised widely and will be open to all researchers in Europe, via an open, independently reviewed, online application system. Research proposals will be evaluated and, if selected, linkedto an appropriate access facility.Many of the partners will be involved in research projects aiming at the development of new methods and toolsto aid the access facilities and users. Results obtained will be communicated to both facility operators as well asuser via publications, meetings and courses.Together with an industrial platform, users as well as other stakeholders, the consortium will also aim to providethe basis for a sustainable, Europe wide, proteomics community to maintain the high level of proteomics infrastructure┬Ěand research, also beyond the duration of this project.