News and web posts from the Human Exposome Assessment Platform

The Human Exposome Assessment Platform
HEAP Partner profile - CSC IT Center for Science, Finland

Building a secure infrastructure for exposome data


CSC – IT Center for Science is the Finnish national High Performance Computing (HPC) centre, providing cloud computing, networking and data services to academia, research institutes, public sector and industry. A non-profit, state-owned company, it is the lead partner in the HEAP project's  “Secure Infrastructure for Big Data” Work Package.

CSC’s role in the HEAP project

CSC will develop and host the secure IT infrastructure for the “Information Commons” that will contain all identifiable data managed by HEAP. The CSC Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) fulfils all the standards and requirements for strong cybersecurity, including well-regulated and tested Access, Authentication and Authorisation, and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant data processing. The platform provides a secure and isolated computing environment for accessing the data.

Strategic fit with HEAP
CSC supports the goal of the HEAP project in opening up national data warehouses for the use of individuals and wider society. Through HEAP, CSC will promote utilization and cross-utilization of data resources, and pave the way for new scientific insights into the exposome and how it affects health.


Previous experience

CSC is already leading the development of European sensitive data infrastructures through existing projects. These include the Finnish ELIXIR node ( that provides data management solutions for life-science including data transfer, experiment-related meta information, and cloud and AAI services for sensitive, health-related data.

CSC has also worked with Sweden’s Karolinska Institutet to tested integrity-proof integration of KI infrastructures for big data and CSC secure cloud services, showing that Swedish personal data can be safely managed on the CSC secure cloud.


What is new about CSC’s work on the HEAP project?

The HEAP IaaS, as developed by CSC, will have new tools for working with cohort data, in particular the storage of metadata for personal data to make it FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable).

Another new feature will be the integration with the Hopsworks Platform as a Service software, as developed by HEAP partner Logical Clocks.



In developing the HEAP IaaS, CSC will work with Dutch legal experts MLC Foundation (MLCF) to design the ethical and regulatory framework to enable the use of pseudonymised data. CSC will also work closely with the Medical University of Graz (MUG), that is providing models and tools for data harmonization, representation, management and data interoperability. 

Exposome events

The European Human Exposome Network, of which HEAP is a member, has an events calendar and social media feed showcasing all of the upcoming events on the theme of exposome research. Add it to your favourites!   


Latest news from the HEAP website
Decoding the Exposome - EHEN Virtual Conference 2021
The European Human Exposome Network (EHEN) is organising an EU Green Week Partner Event on 11 June 2021, an open virtual conference that will be of interest to […]

"The Exposome" - a new field, a new journal
The exposome is now recognised as a critical driver of human health and disease. The journal “Exposome”, published by Oxford Academic and officially launched in March 2021, seeks […]

The HEAP interview - Piotr Bala talks metagenomics
We talk to Piotr Bala, leader of HEAP’s Metagenomic Analysis Work Package. He is Professor of parallel and grid computing, algorithms and programming at the University of Warsaw’s Interdisciplinary Centre […]

HEAP in 10 - Watch this short presentation for an overview of the project
Thanks to Zisis Kozlakidis for his presentation on HEAP to IARC colleagues at the IARC Science Café. Several colleagues saw the wider potential for HEAP in their own […]

Subscribe to the HEAP newsletter
Unsubscribe    |    View online

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement 874662