MINERVA - General Terms of Service (“Terms”)

Last updated: June 13, 2019

MINERVA is a platform provided by the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB), an interdisciplinary centre at the University of Luxembourg to visualize, explore and analyze molecular interaction maps.

These general terms of services (the “General Terms of Services”) govern the Services provided by LCSB (acting for the University of Luxembourg) to the User.

By clicking to accept the Terms of Services, the User concludes an agreement with the University of Luxembourg on the provision of the services through the MINERVA Platform.

Table of contents

1. Definitions

Anonymization shall mean the process of irreversibly transforming Data into any information that cannot be attributed to a specific data subject.

Data shall mean biomedical data, including personal and anonymized data, provided by the User to the MINERVA Platform.

Data Protection Law shall mean the EU Regulation 2016/679 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, as well as its implementing and successors texts.

MINERVA Platform shall mean the platform hosted by LCSB and which will be used by LCSB (1) to receive Data from the User, (2) to store Data and (3) to allow the User to visualize data sets stored in the MINERVA Platform.

Processing shall mean the acts of processing carried out by LCSB on Data whilst providing the Services.

Services shall mean hosting of data including online visualization, exploration and management of interactive diagrams of molecular interaction networks (maps), overlay of datasets on the maps, and queries to external databases to mark drug, chemical or miRNA targets.

The terms ‘controller’, ‘processor’, ‘recipient’, ‘personal data’, ‘data subject’, ‘processing’, ‘pseudonymization’ and ‘personal data breach’ have the same meaning in the Services Agreement and in Data Protection Law.

2. Services provided by LCSB

LCSB provides the following Services:

  • webservice for the visualization, exploration and management of molecular networks,
  • secure storage of Data on the MINERVA Platform including back-ups,
  • allowing the User to access Data, including the publicly accessible datasets, on the MINERVA Platform and to overlay it over the visualized molecular network, or remove it.

More information on the scope of the Service and the usability of the MINERVA Platform can be found under https://minerva.pages.uni.lu/doc/.

When delivering the Services, LCSB will act as a processor to the User.

LCSB will make all reasonable efforts to provide the Services and will warn the User about the changes or interruptions on a best effort basis. However, LCSB does not guarantee the uninterrupted availability of the Services and accepts no responsibility for the consequences of their temporary or permanent discontinuity.

LCSB has a right to refuse or to discontinue with immediate effect the hosting Data on its MINERVA Platform if:

  • Data exceeds the limit of 100 MB;
  • the User does not respect the Terms of Services;
  • LCSB is notified about the illegal or infringing nature of Data; or
  • based on reasonable grounds, LCSB considers that Data is infringing third parties’ rights or may otherwise be illegal or its processing will violate the Data Protection Law. In such a case, the User accepts that LCSB may decide to immediately and without further notice to destroy all copies of Data held by LCSB.

The role of LCSB is limited to the provision the Services. LCSB is not responsible for the quality of Data provided by the User.

LCSB is not responsible nor liable for any Data or other materials posted, stored, or uploaded by the User on the MINERVA Platform, or for any loss or damage to such Data.

For any external software used by the MINERVA Platform, such as the Google Maps API, the User has to comply with the terms of service of the provider of the respective software. LCSB takes no responsibility for any infringements or liabilities resulting from the use of such software.

The Services, including any materials, third-party content or software, are provided on as “AS IS” basis without representations or warranties of any kind.

3. Processing of administrative data

When subscribing to the MINERVA Platform, the User will have to provide the following personal data:

  • email address
  • name and surname In addition, for administrative purposes, date and time of User’s subscription will be registered.

User’s personal data will not be passed on to any third party and LCSB will use it only to communicate to provide the Services.

Legal basis for the processing is Art. 6 para. 1 point b GDPR. More information about the processing of User’s personal data is provided in article 5 of the Terms and conditions below.

4. Fees and payments

The MINERVA Platform is financed by LCSB, thus the Services are provided free of charge.

5. Privacy and Personal Data Processing

5.1 Processing.

The User expressly requests LCSB for processing of Data necessary to provide the Services by uploading Data to the MINERVA Platform.

The User will:

  • upload only Data for which a documented, valid and informed consent or any other valid legal ground and appropriate ethics approval for uploading and use in the MINERVA Platform has been obtained;
  • upload Data to the MINERVA Platform using secure and encrypted communications channels;
  • comply while processing Data with the Data Protection Law and, if applicable, User’s local data protection law;
  • only upload anonymized or pseudonymized Data.

LCSB will:

  • process Data only to deliver the Services, performing its obligations under the Terms of Service, complying with applicable law or otherwise as instructed by the User through documented instructions;
  • assist the User to the best of its ability in responding to:
    • a. personal data protection statutory or regulatory requirements applicable to the User (such as, data protection impact assessments),
    • b. Data subjects’ requests or exercise of their statutory rights on their Data (being noted that the User shall be solely liable for handling such requests);
    • c. the User’s requests for information on Data processing conditions,
    • d. the User’s auditors requests, audits or inspections, and
    • e. the User’s local authorities’ queries or audits. In such case, LCSB may charge justified fees (on a time and material basis) and expenses to the User;
  • inform the User if LCSB becomes aware that Data processing operations hereunder, the Services or instructions issued by the User breach Data Protection Law.

5.2 Sub-processing

LCSB will not make use of providers and sub-processors (the “Sub-processors”) whilst delivering Services to the User without express approval of the User.

5.3 Security

LCSB undertakes to implement and maintain at all times when processing the data, appropriate technical and organizational security measures regulated by a set of internal policies. User individual spaces are protected via login/password mechanism. Access to the servers is given only to appropriate administrators using best practice mechanisms. Each MINERVA instance is running on an isolated virtual environment located in the University of Luxembourg data centre. The servers are actively maintained and regularly updated. The servers are centrally monitored and the administrators are notified about abnormal events such as unusual network traffic or disk usage. Network access to the platform is protected via an Web Application Firewall (WAF) and local firewalls with dedicated rules. Regular internal vulnerability scans are performed against the platform.

LCSB will assign to the Processing and give access to Data exclusively to its personnel subject to a contractual or statutory confidentiality obligation.

LCSB shall not attempt to identify any Data subject from Data.

In the event of inadvertently identifying any Data subject, LCSB will not make any use of the identifying information for any purposes, and to will remove all Data related to the de-anonymized Data subject from the MINERVA Platform.

LCSB undertakes to inform by email the User of any personal data breach without undue delay after becoming aware of such data breach, with available details on the incident. In such a case, LCSB and the User will work together to respond to authorities or Data subjects.

The User declares being familiar with the LCSB’s infrastructure and processes, as well as with the MINERVA Platform’s security measures and declares them (a) adapted with respect to the nature, volume and sensitivity of Data, and (b) as applicable, compatible with the documented, valid and informed consent obtained from Data subjects or the terms of Ethics Approval obtained in view of the Services;

5.4 Transfers outside of the EU

LCSB will not transfer Data outside the EU, unless the User voluntarily makes it available to third parties outside the EU. In the latter case, the User will ensure an adequate level of protection of Data in accordance with Data Protection Law.

6. Ethics Policy

The User will follow general ethical principles, including those related to research integrity and use of human biospecimens and Data related to human subjects for research purposes.

7. Referencing

The User will acknowledge LCSB’s role and contribution in publications resulting from analyses of Data within the MINERVA Platform. When referring to the MINERVA Platform, the following publication should be cited:

“MINERVA—a platform for visualization and curation of molecular interaction networks” by P. Gawron, M. Ostaszewski, V. Satagopam, S. Gebel, A. Mazein, M. Kuzma, S. Zorzan, F. McGee, B. Otjacques, R. Balling, and R. Schneider in npj Systems Biology and Applications, vol. 2, p. 16020, Sep. 2016, doi:10.1038/npjsba.2016.20. available online: http://www.nature.com/articles/npjsba201620

8. Intellectual Property Rights

The MINERVA Platform is released under the Affero General Public License (AGPL). LCSB grants to the User a non-exclusive, non-transferable, non-sublicensable, license to use the Services in User’s application(s).

All intellectual property rights (including but not limited to author rights, trade marks, patents, know-how) on the infrastructure, software, documentation and other tools used for the provision of the Services will remain the exclusive property of LCSB.

9. Responsibility

The User is required to provide information that is accurate, complete, and current at all times.

The User will safeguard and keep confidential the password used to access the Services. The User is fully responsible for the password and will not share it with third parties.

If the User becomes aware of any breach of security relevant to the MINERVA Platform, including unauthorized use of User’s account, the User will notify LCSB immediately about the breach.

The User acknowledges that the MINERVA Platform may not be used in any unlawful manner or in any other manner that could damage, disable, or interfere with the MINERVA Platform.

10. Representations and Warranties

When transmitting Data to the MINERVA Platform the User represents and warrants that:

  • (1) it has a right to use such Data on the MINERVA Platform;
  • (2) all applicable privacy and personal data laws and regulations (including the Data Protection Law) are respected, notably that all consents, waivers, authorizations from Data subjects and/or Ethics Approvals or other approvals required from competent public authorities necessary for the valid legal ground of processing have been obtained;
  • (3) it remains responsible for managing the consent of Data Subjects and all requests of information, erasure and restriction of processing by Data Subjects.
  • (4) Uploading Data on the MINERVA Platform does not violate any rights of or cause injury to any person or entity and does not otherwise create any harm to third parties;
  • (5) it shall not post on the MINERVA Platform any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, promotional materials, junk mail, spam or any other form of solicitation (commercial or otherwise);
  • (6) it shall not post, transmit or otherwise make available any virus, worm, spyware or any other computer code, file or program that may or is intended to damage of hijack the operation of any hardware, software or telecommunications equipment or any hardware/software connected to the MINERVA Platform.

11. Limitation of Liability

LCSB will not be liable for any indirect, incidental, special, consequential damages arising out of or in connection with the use of Services or access to the MINERVA Platform, including without limitation, damages for loss of profits, goodwill or other tangible or intangible losses.

LCSB will not be liable for damages incurred to the User by reason of the destruction of Data on the MINERVA Platform.

12. Termination and obligations of the parties after the termination

These Terms of Services will be effective as of the date the User clicks to accept the Terms of Service and continue until the agreement is terminated.

Either party may terminate this agreement for breach if: (a) the other party is in material breach of the agreement and fails to cure that breach within 30 days after receipt of written notice. LCSB reserves the right to suspend or terminate provision of the Services immediately if the User’s activity disrupts or causes harm to the MINERVA Platform infrastructure.

LCSB may terminate provision of Service(s) if, for more than 90 days the User has not replied on any request based on the contact information the User has provided or if the contact data provided by the User are no longer valid.

The User may stop using the Services at any time.

At the termination of the Terms of Services, LCSB will delete Data.

LCSB may terminate the Terms of Services without recourse to the courts (‘de plein droit’) at any time before its term by providing a one (1) year prior written notice, in case LCSB is subject to restructuring, cessation of the activities or change of control.

13. Miscellaneous

Modification of the Terms of Services

In case of changes to these Terms of Services, the User will be notified with a thirty (30) days prior notice. If, after reception of such notice, the User does not notify its intention to terminate these Terms of Services and continues to use the Services, he will be deemed to have accepted the amendments to the Terms of Services.


If any clause, or portion of a clause, of these Terms of Services is considered invalid under the rule of law, it shall be regarded as void while the remainder of these Terms of Services shall continue to be in full effect.

Governing law and jurisdiction

These Terms of Services follow the laws of Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Any controversy or claim relating to these Terms of Services shall be submitted to the exclusive jurisdiction of the competent courts of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

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