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. Establishing 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:
ELIXIR, the intergovernmental organization bringing together life science resources from across Europe, of which SIB is the Swiss node. Our involvement spans a range of topics, from maintaining Swiss open software and databases for life sciences through the Service Delivery Plan, to co-leading work packages in European projects or platforms. A key example of this is the co-steering of European efforts to foster open sharing of SARS-CoV-2 genomic data in the ELIXIR-CONVERGE project.
The European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) for the advancement of open science in Europe, of which SIB is an observer member.
The Global Alliance for Genomics & Health (GA4GH), a worldwide organization which seeks to enable responsible genomic data sharing and includes SIB as a member.
The Global Biodata Coalition, the forum for research funders to foster efficient management and growth of biodata resources worldwide. Our institute contributed to its setup and our former Executive Directors are now part of the Scientific Advisory Board.