IBEC participated in the development of the platform, which is supported by the Government of Catalonia and the Obra Social “la Caixa”, and which aims to involve all Barcelona organizations working in the field of health and food. BIB will act as a catalyst for initiatives in advanced research and knowledge and technology transfer between research groups, hospitals and the business sector, as well as the development of training programmes in bioinformatics.
“With big data growing exponentially in recent years, it has become vital that we learn how to make sense of and exploit the flood of information and transform it into new knowledge with great socioeconomic impact,” said IBEC director Josep Samitier. “Bioinformatics is an area of research that applies computer science and information technology to managing biomedical data. This multidisciplinary approach amplifies the potential of knowledge creation and technology transfer.”
Bioinformatics is used in all areas of life sciences and has a profound impact on a wide range of fields, including health, food and biotechnology in general. BIB has already rolled out two-year courses on vocational training in computer-oriented bioinformatics starting this year, as well as defining the curriculum of the first three-year bioinformatics degree in the Catalan university system, which is scheduled to begin in 2016-17.
In addition to the 25 member organizations, which also include IRB Barcelona, CNAG and biotech company Mind the Byte, 23 further bodies have shown interest and are in the process of being incorporated. BIB’s first board of directors consists of the Ana Ripoll (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), Arcadi Navarro (Universitat Pompeu i Fabra) and Alfons Nonell-Canals, CEO and founder of Mind the Byte.