BBMRI-ERIC & BiobankCloud

In its most simple definition, a biobank is a repository of biological material such as blood, tissue, saliva, DNA, etc. Biobanks can be part of academic medical institutions or pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, delivering biological materials to researchers. Biobanks are very relevant components in the biomedical research cycle. They store and preserve samples from donors that give their consent to store and use the samples for research. Researchers use the biological material for investigating human diseases and clinicians; for diagnosis and treatment purposes.
BBMRI-ERIC is one of the largest biomedical Research Infrastructures in Europe. It primarily aims at establishing, operating, and developing a pan-European distributed research infrastructure of biobanks and biomolecular resources. This will facilitate the access to biological resources as well as biomedical facilities and support high-quality bio-molecular and medical research.
To achieve this, BBMRI-ERIC is harmonizing and integrating biobanking all over Europe in order to make biobank resources available for investigation on human diseases. At the same time, it is imperative to harmonize and integrate biomedical research in order to make available and reusable all generated data, results and knowledge and systematically associate research data to the original “biobanked” sample.
The increasing availability of high-throughput technologies is causing an exponential growing of big data generation in biobanks and research. Each day more biobanks, research groups and pharmaceutical companies are adopting these technologies. For instance Next Generation Sequencing is expanding quickly (http://omicsmaps.com) and more genomes are available for research. In contrast, research institutions and biobanks are lacking the require infrastructures for storing, analyzing and sharing big data.
The BiobankCloud is a valuable alternative to tackle this problem not only because it provides an open-source software platform that covers security, ethics and regulations for personal data protection, storage and analysis of big data; but also because it has the potentiality of being extended to bring more specific biobank functionalities as management of bio-resources and linking data to samples. This will allow biobanks to improve their capabilities by making high-throughput analyses available to biobank customers.
BBMRI-ERIC will promote the BiobankCloud through its communication and networking channels and will continue collaborating to make of this platform a standard tool for bio-molecular research.