B3Africa – Bridging Biobanking and Biomedical Research across Europe and Africa – will dramatically improve and facilitate the development of better predictive, preventive, and personalized health care worldwide.
B3Africa aims to implement a cooperation platform and technical informatics framework for biobank integration between Africa and Europe. The collaboration is standardizing the ethical and legal framework, biobank data representation, and bioinformatics pipelines for sharing data and knowledge among biobanks and enabling access for researchers from both continents.
The main stakeholders from the relevant initiatives, including the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) project, the European Biobanking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure Consortium (BBMRI-ERIC), and the Low- and Middle-Income Countries Biobank and Cohort Building Network (BCNet), collaborate in B3Africa to address the following objectives:
- Defining an ethical and regulatory framework for biobank data sharing between Europe and Africa
- Defining data models for representing biobank and research data based on existing best practices, standards, and ontologies
- Designing an informatics platform using existing open-source software (with the eBioKit and BiBBox as essential modules) to integrate workflows for biobank applications
- Implementing an education and training system for information and capacity-building
- Validating the B3Africa concept with existing biobanks from both continents.
B3Africa will provide the critical mass to maximize efficiency in biomedical research, support defragmentation through integration, and enable efficient leverage of existing biobanks and e-infrastructures in Europe and Africa. The technical informatics framework will be designed for easy upscaling and integration with other research infrastructures.
The B3Africa project is built upon a technology platform, in the form of the eB3kit (blue), and social components (green). Together, the components contribute to strengthen African and European research communities in low- and middle-income countries by reducing thresholds in the research cycle.