Erik BONGCAM-RUDLOFF – B3Africa: A Technical Informatics Framework for Biobank Integration between Africa and Europe

Biobanking in the spotlight ‐ International collaborations in Africa

Europe Biobank Week, 13-16 September 2016

Erik Bongcam-Rudloff – B3Africa: A Technical Informatics Framework for Biobank Integration between Africa and Europe

The B3Africa project is a Horizon2020 project (2015-2018) that will integrate knowledge and technical solutions from all major biobanks infrastructure-projects in Africa and Europe. The solutions that will be created by the project will serve as bridge connecting data and methods between the existing infrastructures. Biobanks are one of the infrastructures prioritised for EUAfrican collaboration. In Europe and Africa BBMRI-ERIC, BCNet and H3Africa projects are the largest projects integrating and harmonizing biobanks. Participants in the B3Africa project were selected for their contributions to those projects and/or their potential to become lead users of the intellectual and technical system developed by the B3Africa project. The B3Africa consortium consists of 11 partners from 7 countries (three European and four African).

The B3Africa project will have two main parts: the collaboration framework and a technical platform. The collaboration framework will include harmonization of ethics and regulations for biobank data sharing, standardization of data representation and bioinformatics and also will design an online modular training system. The technical platform named eB3Kit will integrate available open-source software, services and tools for biobanking, bioinformatics, ethics and regulations and training.

This project will also examine the possibilities of reusing results from ongoing projects and establishes infrastructures as BiobankCloud, BioMedBridges, RD-Connect, EGI, EUDAT and ELIXIR among others.

Apart from harmonizing methods and supporting the exchange of data, the common ground for ethics a legal and regulatory framework will be developed together with domain experts from the BBMRI-ERIC, BCNet and H3Africa projects to create joint policies based on their extensive experience.

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