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From 27-28 September, the Medical University of Innsbruck (a BBMRI.at partner) served as the vibrant backdrop for the highly successful Europe Biobank Week IT Roadshow. This international event, organised by BBMRI-ERIC and ESBB, attracted leading global experts engaged in biobanking and IT collaboration.
The roadshow was established as a way to deepen collective knowledge and forge meaningful connections among scientists, researchers, and IT professionals. Over two days, attendees addressed health and biobank data integration, data management and data transfer between biobanks and European platforms, and data extraction from various health-data sources.
Anthony Brookes (University of Leicester) opened the conference by outlining biospecimen discovery in large European networks and suggested joint efforts for further development of European platforms including the BBMRI Negotiator, Finder and Locator. On day two, Priit Kleemann (University of Tartu) discussed the secure management of gene donor data to facilitate innovation within a GDPR environment. Closing out day two, Carla Barbosa (Coimbra University) spoke on ethical and legal challenges related to data, consent, and artificial intelligence in the European Health Data Space (EHDS).
The conference featured thematic panel sessions covering biobanking data integration on the local system level, data quality assurance and provenance, and European flagship initiatives in biobanking information systems.
🚀Day 1 – Session 1 of the #EBW23 Roadshow!
💡How can clinical #biobank data be integrated in local software systems & data lakes?
We received answers from our speakers and great audience engagement! pic.twitter.com/7oIS70z9Gy
— BBMRI-ERIC (@BBMRIERIC) September 27, 2023
Roadshow participants were thankful for the opportunity to come together, face-to-face, to exchange ideas and inspire opportunities for further cooperation in health data management, the development of innovative tools, and joint software engineering.
Many participants suggested establishing the event on a regular basis to continue knowledge sharing not only in the context of quality-oriented sample management but also in the context of biobank digitalisation. Attendees also noted the value of the discussions and meeting colleagues they had only previously spoken to online.
A pleasure to be at the #EBW23 Roadshow in Innsbruck and meet so many colleagues in person who we usually talk to online. Great to catch up with Innsbruck host Georg Goebel @imed_tweets, @a_malatras from Cyprus & many others! #biobanking #biobank @BBMRIERIC @biobank_cy pic.twitter.com/dm2Smc6kDY
— German Biobank Node (@bbmri_de) September 28, 2023
Petr Holub, Head of IT and CIO of BBMRI-ERIC, further emphasised the importance of IT communities and biobanks coming together:
“In order to cope with the rapid developments in medical research, biobanks need to become advanced centres integrating data from different sources with available biological material and with different services provided for researchers.
“Hence, it is vital to mobilise IT communities in the biobanking domain to cope with these developments, to share and exchange their experiences and best practices, and to jointly address major challenges such as FAIR data quality and traceability, working with unstructured data, or connecting to international infrastructures. The EBW IT Roadshow was the first event organised after the COVID-19 hiatus and we received extremely positive feedback from participants and we look forward to setting up a tradition around it.”
This Roadshow acts as a prelude to the ESBB/BBMRI-ERIC organised Europe Biobank Week Congress taking place in the Hofburg, Vienna, from 14-17 May 2024. Save the date and look out for further details on registration, which will be made available shortly on the EBW website. Further theme specific Roadshows will be announced over the coming months.