BioLink: grants for the networking of biobanks established for research purposes

The SNSF is launching a call for project proposals aimed at networking biobanks by harmonising their IT systems. The networking serves a well-defined, scientific research purpose. The call is open to all research domains. Letters of intent must be sent to by 22 March 2019.

​​​​​​​​BioLink is intended for investigators who wish to network their biobanks using IT systems. This harmonisation of IT systems will result in the sharing of interoperable data so as to address well-defined, scientific questions. BioLink is open to all research domains and responds to the needs for networking IT systems of existing biobanks and of biobanks that are being or will be created.

​​​​​Applications must be based on original, unique and timely scientific questions whose investigation critically depends on the networking of the biobanks. Applications must also provide information on the selection, development and implementation of the IT systems. Further, they must also describe how the interoperability of the biobanks will be guaranteed in the long term.

​​​​​The duration of funding is limited to 24 months. The grants are awarded to support the technical development and the implementation of IT systems (IT equipment, sotfware, licences) as well as the salaries of technical collaborators employed to implement the IT systems. Costs for the creation, expansion and maintenance of biobanks, as well as research costs associated with the investigation of the scientific questions addressed, cannot be covered.

This initiative aims at strengthening the quality, accessibility and interoperability of the Swiss biobanks. Three million Swiss francs have been allocated to the 2019 call with the intention of supporting three to five projects.