A data revolution to GROW Colombia’s bioeconomy
09 October 2018
Colombia’s biodiversity is soon to be revealed in greater depth than ever before, stimulated by a new consortium that will allow the world’s second most megadiverse country to help drive the big data revolution.
The “C3Biodiversidad” consortium, created by 16 leading Colombian institutions with the support of Earlham Institute, BRIDGE Colombia, and GROW Colombia, will build capacity in research cyberinfrastructure in a country teeming with wildlife and biological information.
A better understanding of Colombia’s biodiversity on a national scale will drive the growth of the Colombian economy. Over the next few years, enabled by the recent peace agreement, large amounts of data about the megafauna will be collected, and the capacity to share and analyse this information needs to keep pace with the vast wealth of information gleaned from these new explorations.
In June this year, Earlham Institute organised a workshop in Bogotá, Colombia, that brought together important players in the country to design a strategy to develop research cyberinfrastructure that can cope with these needs.
Colombia is a country of stunning beauty and megadiversity; geographically, culturally and biologically. A greater understanding of this biodiversity is not
Professor Federica Di Palma,
Prof Silvia Restrepo-Restrepo, VC of Research at
One way of ensuring the efficient and accurate analysis of such abundant data is to cultivate and foster research cyberinfrastructure - advanced shared computing resources along with a community of skilled people who ensure that they are operated in a sustainable, secure, collaborative, and interoperable way.
Colombia is the number one hotspot for
Dr Jose De Vega, Research Fellow at EI who organised the workshop, added: “The main goal of a research cyberinfrastructure is to enable data-driven scientific discovery. Essentially, a research cyberinfrastructure aims to meet the needs of the life science community through democratised access to computational resources, particularly supporting international collaborations flexibly across multiple institutes.”
Dr Rob Davey, Head of Research e-Infrastructure at EI, added: “The way researchers interact with computational resources is changing. Whilst institutional
Dr Romain Guyot, from
As its first initiative, C3Biodiversidad is producing a technical white paper to inform research policy among policy-makers as well as scientific materials to disseminate the consortium mission, while engaging with a diversity of stakeholders in Colombia and the wider region.
Prof Emiliano Barreto, from the Bioinformatics Centre at National University of Colombia, added: “The consortium aims at integrating the data collected at the national level, making it available to all the different players and having the necessary computational capacity to analyze and keep it updated, in such a way that the country and the world knows what and where these natural resources are, as well as the access requirements in our country.”
Notes to editors
For more information, please contact:
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A recent award from RCUK’s Global Challenges Research Fund is set to stimulate the
The BRIDGE Colombia network (www.bridgecolombia.org) is a multidisciplinary network of research organisations in the UK and Colombia founded in March 2017, focused on the development of robust coordinated activities under a shared vision
The Consorcio Colombiano de
The Earlham Institute (EI) is a world-leading research Institute focusing on the development of genomics and computational biology. EI is based within the Norwich Research Park and is one of eight institutes that receive strategic funding from Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council (BBSRC) - £5.43m in 2017/18 - as well as support from other research funders. - as well as support from other research funders. EI operates a National Capability to promote the application of genomics and bioinformatics to advance bioscience research and innovation.
EI offers a state of the art DNA sequencing facility, unique by its operation of multiple complementary technologies for data generation. The Institute is a UK hub for innovative bioinformatics through research, analysis and interpretation of multiple, complex data sets. It hosts one of the largest computing hardware facilities dedicated to life science research in Europe. It is also actively involved in developing novel platforms to provide access to computational tools and processing capacity for multiple academic and industrial users and promoting applications of computational Bioscience. Additionally, the Institute offers a training programme through courses and workshops, and an outreach programme targeting key stakeholders, and wider public audiences through dialogue and science communication activities.