ESFRI - Infrastructure for Systems Biology Europe - (ISBE)

ISBE (Infrastructure for Systems Biology – Europe) is a large-scale European research infrastructure project on the European Strategy Forum on Reserach Infrastructures (ESFRI) Roadmap.

The need for a European infrastructure for systems biology has been clearly established for a number of years. A working group was established in April 2009, under the leadership of Professor Richard Kitney, to develop an outline proposal for the ISBE.

This is now part of the ESFRI (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures) Roadmap.

Summary of original ISBE Proposal

The ISBE will:

(i) interconnect hubs of technological excellence in Systems Biology, offering the best European research expertise, and experimental and modelling facilities, necessary for systems biology;
(ii) establish and make available repositories of data and models;
(iii) enable real-time connections within and between components of (i) and (ii) and with external ‘user’ laboratories, through the provision of high performance connections to existing high capacity electronic network infrastructures. Hubs will contribute specific skills and expertise to functional clusters focused on a variety of topics in an operational matrix, and some hubs may have groups that participate in different and/or multiple clusters.

This structure will also facilitate efficient interaction with the substantial technology development efforts relevant to Systems Biology already funded by national and EU programmes. The ISBE will enable all European laboratories to model, conduct experiments and undertake other activities remotely, where they cannot be done locally, but which are required for their systems biology research programmes.

This is an essential point because Systems Biology requires significantly more multidisciplinary facilities than are typically present in any single institute, industrial enterprise or even some member states.