BBMRI-ERIC Launches the Innovative Federated Platform that Benefits both Biobanks and Researchers

The new Federated Platform improves accessibility and ethical searchability of biobanking data and samples.

BBMRI-ERIC Launches the Innovative Federated Platform that Benefits both Biobanks and Researchers
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The biobanking community has made a significant leap forward with the launch of the Federated Platform, an initiative driven by BBMRI-ERIC. This platform introduces two innovative tools, Finder and Locator, designed to facilitate researchers access to biobanks and biomolecular resources. With these tools, researchers can efficiently locate specific samples and data while creating virtual cohorts, marking a European first in terms of federated analysis and access.

The Federated Platform addresses the challenge of conducting detailed, real-time searches of biobank collections while preserving donor privacy. Petr Holub, Chief Information Officer at BBMRI-ERIC, highlights the platform’s capability to process queries locally within the biobank, thereby anonymizing results without exporting sensitive data.

The new tools, Finder and Locator, cover a broader spectrum of data models. Finder, particularly notable for including over 200,000 genomes, enables genome-wide association studies and other genomic queries.

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Furthermore, the Estonian National Biobank‘s contribution to Finder’s genomic data underscores the collaborative nature of this initiative. Similarly, Vita Rovita from BBMRI Latvia underscores the importance of making extensive genomic data sets accessible for research advancement.

The Federated Platform is built from a deep understanding of researcher needs. Researchers in Brno like Lukáš Muráň at the Masaryk Memorial Cancer Institute and Martin Bartošík at RECAMO have already found great benefit in using Finder and Locator for their projects. The platform’s launch is also a boon for biobanks, increasing their visibility and sustainability, as outlined by Radovan Tomášik and Zdenka Dudova, co-leads of the Federated Platform Task Force.

Read more here.