ISBE releases its business case for a European infrastructure in systems biology

ISBE_BusinessCase_2014M11_Page1_20141114ISBE, the Infrastructure for Systems Biology Europe, is an ESFRI (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures) project in its preparatory phase (2012-2015). ISBE will present its business plan mid-2015.

The ISBE business case explains the rationale for an Infrastructure for Systems Biology in Europe (ISBE), the physical infrastructure, the plans for services and access and the legal and governance structure.
You can download the full document as a pdf by clicking here or view the Executive Summary on our website.

Next steps
The Preparatory Phase of ISBE will end in July 2015 with the primary output being the delivery of a comprehensive ISBE Business Plan that describes the ISBE infrastructure. The Business Plan will provide greater detail on the key issues touched upon in the Business Case:
• the need for the ISBE infrastructure
• ISBE’s structure and how it will function
• ISBE’s main users and how they will access the infrastructure
• proof of interest from key stakeholders
• ISBE’s financial, legal and governance structure
• how the infrastructure will be built and maintained and its quality assured
Following this, it is expected that an ‘Interim Phase’ of approximately 2 years will be required to finalise negotiation of the legal agreement for establishing ISBE and the financial contributions from national funder representing member states, as well as the identification of associated national Systems Biology Centres.

Identification of national Systems Biology Centres (nSBCs)
ISBE has initiated a dialogue with potential nSBCs and associated funding bodies, aiming at identifying the nature of potential services, both available and in demand, and as a first approach to qualify and quantify future providers and users of the infrastructure. This first step will be followed by an open nomination process in 2015 that will require candidate centres to detail existing or planned financial national support, together with endorsement by both the host institution and an associated national research ministry or funding body.

To construct and manage a distributed infrastructure of interconnected systems biology centres that provides resources and services, coordinated at the national and European levels. This will allow the wide use of data suitable for model-driven analyses and prediction of biological systems, and its application to understand their functioning from a multi-discipline and multi-scale perspective. This will be achieved by providing: 1. community access to findable, accessible, interoperable and re-usable (FAIR) models, data, biological maps and tools, that fosters synergy with existing services and standards 2. effective aggregation and interlinking of related datasets and models, in order to preserve the provenance and shared understanding of systems biology experiments 3. support for the generation of model-compliant data, and the building and use of data-driven models of complex biological systems 4. effective stewardship of data and models that allows their re-use now and in the future (FAIR compliant), independent of short term funding and national strategies 5. promoting the development and adoption of community standards and best practices for the generation and curation of data and models 6. enhanced education and training in systems biology.