The pan-European Biobanking and BioMolecular resources Research Infrastructure (BBMRI) is a distributed biomedical and life science infrastructure for sustainable storage and dissemination of biobank samples and associated data in Europe. BBMRI-ERIC will provide access to the collections of partner biobanks and biomolecular resources, their expertise and services on a non-economic basis.

The BBMRI-ERIC Common Service IT (CS-IT) has the mission to deliver expertise, services, and tools relevant to the pursuance of tasks and activities of BBMRI-ERIC. It will be complemented by the H2020 INFRADEV-3 project ADOPT, designed to accelerate development and deployment of tools needed for BBMRI-ERIC. The project proposal was broken down into work packages (WP), depicted in the figure below "Overview of Services" and it was accepted by the European Commission on the 16th of April 2015. 

Overview of Services

Our team at DKFZ is mainly responsible for the concept, design, development and maintenance of the federated search in BBMRI-ERIC CS-IT, which includes the Sample Locator, Connector, Negotiator and the integration with these components with the Biobank Directory and Harmonization tools. Moreover, we are leading the architecture design of the complete CS-IT project and developing the software solution for that will enable the collection of 10.000 colon cancer cases, which will serve as a use case for BBMRI-ERIC.

The Sample Locator aims at providing availability information of samples and sample-related data from the biobanks to the researchers (consumers) through a federated querying mechanism. The Sample Locator will be integrated with ontology mapping tools, developed in the scope of WP8 – Harmonization Tools, in order to support the heterogeneity of the European data structures.

The federated search concept supports specifying search queries based on items defined in the metadata repository (WP8) and the asynchronous interaction with the participating biobanks. A research project description and the contact information of the inquiring partners completes the request, which is made available to all participating biobanks. The request interface of the local biobanks, the connector, retrieves the query and the results, locally. These results on sample data are presented to the person in charge of the biobank, together with the request information.

Finally, the data owner can proceed to the negotiation of the samples, on the Negotiator. This is the component that moderates the data requesting and access process. It is a communication platform between researchers and biobankers regarding sample requests. The response process can be automated for trusted requesters, if the data owner so desires. However, no data is shared without the explicit consent of the data owner.

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