Biobanks1 are well-organized repositories of biological material. They have become the fundamental resource for advancing medical research and constitute a major component of more generally understood bioresources. Yet they face a number of challenges to become more utilized on the national and global scale. These challenges range from fragmentation of data structure and sometimes even lack of availability of data,2–4 lack of consistent quality management and traceability5–8 to fragmentation of privacy protection regulations9–13 and technical, organizational, and legal aspects of scalable secure storage and processing of privacy-sensitive big data.14–16 To address the fragmentation and findability aspects, BBMRI-ERIC has released its Directory as a first IT service, providing aggregate information about the biobanks and bioresources. The Directory features a novel scalable distributed architecture, which enables updating data about changing resources in a long-term sustainable manner.

1st December 2016 • comment