Thanks to its multidisciplinary nature, bioinformatics is having a large impact, influencing the development of new information technologies as well as the rapid expansion in the scope of its applications. Our coordination activities aim to facilitate collaboration between disciplines, institutions and across borders, and to establish the common standards needed to make open data and knowledge universally understandable and usable. For many years, SIB has positioned itself as the coordinator of choice to federate Swiss researchers and service providers in bioinformatics by connecting Swiss bioinformatics with the world and implementing impactful research infrastructure

Federating the Swiss community of bioinformatics researchers and service providers

SIB federates the national bioinformatics community through a network of affiliated groups, whose leaders are recognized experts in the field. Their host institutions are partners of SIB and represent the major academic and research institutions of Switzerland.

Federating this community is of utmost importance for Switzerland - and part of our mandate from the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) – to maintain Swiss bioinformatics at the leading edge of worldwide life science and innovation. This capability, which is unique in the country, also maximises the impact of public and private investments by increasing data interoperability, developing common standards in line with international ones, and facilitating scientific collaboration.

SIB offers its national network joint activities for sharing best practices and fostering collaborations, for instance, in the form of focus groups. SIB also organizes scientific events and conferences and provides support in areas ranging from grant management and scientific promotion to legal expertise or technology transfer. The common thread in all these activities is scientific excellence and collaboration.

Finally, this national network also gives SIB the legitimacy to represent Switzerland in bioinformatics-related initiatives on the international scene and to grow our country’s visibility in scientific excellence and innovation.

Connecting Swiss bioinformatics to the world

With Switzerland not having access to some European initiatives, the Swiss bioinformatics community needs to be linked to international endeavours to prevent researchers from being isolated in the science landscape. Through activities such as establishing and implementing international standards to increase data interoperability, participating in federated initiatives as a Swiss node or leading work packages at the European level, SIB is boosting the profile of Switzerland in the world.

SIB has established links and collaborations with global organizations such as:

Implementing impactful research infrastructure initiatives

Thanks to our national coordination activities, our institute is naturally positioned to set up national or international infrastructures, be it in the field of open research data (ORD) or clinical research data.

Coordinating open research data

Since its inception, SIB has been committed to open science and disseminating FAIR principles as widely as possible. ORD is coordinated at SIB through the open resources developed by its members which are essential data bricks to implement open science, but also through infrastructure development projects. These are led by or involving our members, in the framework of the call by swissuniversities to foster ORD in Switzerland.

SIB also coordinated the development of a proposal as part of the Swiss Roadmap for Research Infrastructures 2023 initiated by SERI. Thanks to the national network that we steer, all our partner institutions now have access to this project, the SwissBioData ecosystem. The data analysis platforms, federated within SIB, have been supplemented by data-producing platforms that are not directly affiliated with our institute. A total of 54 platforms based in 18 of the country's academic institutions are taking part in this proposal, which has been awarded top marks by the Swiss National Science Foundation and recognized as being of national importance for achieving the objectives of open science.

The European public-private projects* where SIB acts as Data Coordination Centre span across:



countries and include



public institutions and



pharmaceutical companies


*Innovative Medicines/Health Initiatives

Coordinating clinical research data

Many European public-private projects tackling diabetes, cancer or obesity, rely on our expertise for the coordination, management and analysis of sensitive data from different countries. By regularly acting as Data Coordination Centre in these projects, we fulfil a crucial need for a reliable, neutral and efficient partner, able to interact with actors from the private sector as well as academia and to overcome complex scientific and legal challenges through innovative technical solutions. Our federated analysis and database approach is an example of these solutions: find out how we applied it in the context of a project to fight diabetes.   

Discover our Vital-IT group

We also coordinate clinical research data in large national infrastructure projects such as the Swiss Personalized Health Network (SPHN). As the Data Coordination Centre of this federal initiative from 2017 to the end of 2024, SIB coordinates all actors involved from hospitals to researchers and experts. In that context, we have set up a secure IT network for health-related data processing, BioMedIT, providing secure computational infrastructure, services, and competencies for biomedical research in Switzerland.

We support clinical research, pathogen surveillance and diagnostics through national infrastructure solutions that we coordinate and develop as part of national consortia. Examples include; the Swiss Variant Interpretation Platform for Oncology (SVIP-O), a central resource for clinicians to establish common clinical interpretations of cancer variants identified in patients, the Swiss Pathogen Surveillance Platform (SPSP), based on whole genome sequencing of multi-drug resistant bacteria and other pathogens like SARS-CoV-2 and SwissGenVar, a nationwide effort connecting all major academic institutions for medical genetics in Switzerland.