Connecting the UK’s Biobanks

The UKCRC Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre hosted a meeting between the technical teams of the University of Nottingham and leading international suppliers of Biobanking software. Staff from the Advanced Data Analysis Centre and the Information Services department of the University met with Interactive Software, Infonetica, CSols, Open Specimen and Freezer Works to discuss and agree how sample data could be effortlessly shared.

Many challenges remain to be solved but the forming of this group represents a strong commitment to combine knowledge and expertise to begin the process of tackling some of the underlying technical, legal and ethical issues. The aim is to create a community standard that can be implemented by multiple vendors to ensure that we work together in a collaborative and pre-competitive manner to deliver a step-change in the ability to exchange information about samples held in Biobanks.

The Centre is incredibly grateful to receive this support from these leading companies and we would encourage others to join in and support this effort. Together we can make a difference and make a change to research capabilities in the UK.