Following a stringent international selection process, three SIB knowledge bases have been included in the first set of Global Core Biodata Resources (GCBRs). Rhea, STRING and UniProt, which provide life scientists worldwide with crucial open knowledge on biochemical reactions, protein-protein interactions, and protein sequences and functions respectively, have been recognized by the Global Biodata Coalition as having a critical impact. This announcement is a great tribute to the SIB Groups developing them as well as to SIB’s commitment to life science infrastructure and Switzerland’s leading expertise in biological data.

Biodata resources are essential basic tools for researchers worldwide to manage, curate and access data efficiently. In particular, knowledge bases draw together and add value to these data through expert curation and annotation, enabling further discoveries. However, many rely on short-term, unstable funding. Among all those developed worldwide, the “Global Core Biodata Resources (GCBR) represent the most crucial components (…) within the global life science data infrastructure, whose failure would have a critical impact on the global research endeavour,” writes the Global Biodata Coalition (see box).

About the Global Biodata Coalition

The Global Biodata Coalition (GBC) is an international coalition of research funders to better coordinate approaches for the efficient funding, management and growth of biodata resources worldwide. Its set-up was co-led by SIB

A worldwide recognition for Switzerland’s biological data expertise

The initial list of GCBRs includes 37 international life science resources, among which three are part of the SIB portfolio and developed by SIB teams with their international collaborators: Rhea (biochemical reactions) and UniProt (protein sequences and functions) are developed by the Group of Alan Bridge, and STRING (protein-protein interaction networks) by the Group of Christian von Mering. All three resources were also recognized previously on the European level as ELIXIR Core DataResources.

This selection comes after a two-stage process open to applications from biodata resources around the world. The candidates were assessed by a panel of over 50 independent reviewers on criteria such as their quality of service and impact on global research.

The outcome is a testament to the excellence of the approach taken by SIB’s teams to ensure the continued relevance, quality and sustainability of the resources, and bodes well for their future. 

Exploring sustainable funding models

The GBC’s partner funders will now actively work with the community of GCBRs to explore funding models that ensure these biodata resources can develop and sustain the critical services they provide to the global research community.

It is also envisaged that the list of GCBRs will grow and develop over time, to include further resources. And SIB, of course, keeps at its mission to select, nurture and support resources from the Swiss bioinformatics community to foster their long-term sustainability through such recognition initiatives.

Read the international release