BC Platforms has entered into a research collaboration with the UK’s national biobanking platform in order to enable clinical and genetic data to be integrated, supported by the recently established Health Data Research UK; a research institute set up to help improve lives through better use of data.
The biobanking platform – directory.biobankinguk.org – is hosted by the University of Nottingham’s UKCRC Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre (UKCRC TDCC) and run under the national registry for biobanks holding over 150 biobanks. Generation Scotland is the first biobank to be added to the system and will be demonstrated at the UK Biobanking Showcase conference, being held in London today. It is anticipated that this initial concept will be scaled to all UK biobanks and genomic cohorts and will be replicated across European countries wanting to adopt the UK model through working with European organisations such as BBMRI-ERIC and ELIXIR.
Develop an open standard
The collaboration will see BC Platforms opening up its connector technology across the biobanking platform in order to develop an open standard that can be utilised and reimplemented by any accredited party. It has provided a licence to its query engine to the University of Nottingham and will allow any party in the biobanking platform to develop their own version of the query engine or connector based on the open standard. The aim of this research collaboration is to create the foundations that enable biobanks to be included within the eco-system, but then to allow academic groups, technologists and industry to drive the future direction via open-source development. Working together, BC Platforms and the University of Nottingham expect to have a full operational solution by the end of the first year that can then be utilised by biobanks using open interoperable connectors and standards.
“We are delighted to be working on this research collaboration with the UKCRC TDCC and look forward to implementing this solution across the UK biobanking ecosystem in order to progress standardized and systematic data sharing in a safe and secure manner,” said Tero Silvola, CEO of BC Platforms.