UK Resilience Project in COVID-19 co-led by Universities of Nottingham, Dundee, and Edinburgh, and Public Health England
BC Platforms, a global leader in clinical and genomic data management, analytics and access, announced today that it has been appointed as data platform partner in a cross-UK project to enable research by connecting COVID-19 data derived from patients’ serology (blood) samples, and improve the UK’s resilience to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The UK has rich, globally important COVID-19 datasets, including large serology cohort studies, however it is currently a fragmented data landscape lacking interoperability and standardisation. The CO-CONNECT – COVID (Curated and Open aNalysis aNd rEsearCh platTform) project has been formed to make the most of this valuable resource for research and innovation, and ensure it is findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR). This 18- month project is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), and is led by four main institutions, the Universities of Nottingham, Dundee, Edinburgh, and Public Health England.
CO-CONNECT COVID will support access to information from 44 data sources for a consortium of researchers, standardising antibody data collection from across the UK to build a secure and trustworthy federated platform for researches to access. The system will also protect patient confidentiality and data security, supporting federated anonymised data analysis. BC|RQUEST will be predominantly used to connect all partners in the CO-CONNET COVID initiative, with BC | INSIGHT also powering the collaboration to support the UK’s long-term response to COVID-19.
Philip Quinlan, Head of Digital Research Service at the University of Nottingham, and Associate Director in HDR UK, said: “We are really excited to be bringing together the best of the UK’s data assets into an accessible and harmonised dataset. It will ensure leading researchers have access to the latest data and at the scale required to give definitive answers to some of the most significant questions that require an answer. We are really thankful to all the leading organisations that have come together to make this possible in the spirit of collaboration under the vision of ensuring data can help save lives.”
Tero Silvola, CEO of BC Platforms, said, “We are delighted to now expand our partnership with Professor Quinlan and his excellent team to address the Covid-19 challenges. We will use our BC|RQUEST platform as a data-backbone, to provide researchers with the high-quality data they need to enable the rapid development of potential vaccines and treatments for the disease. We at BC Platforms strongly believe science works best through collaboration, and sharing expertly curated, and carefully governed, patient data is fundamental to achieving success.”
The data could potentially transform COVID-19 research, providing experts with key information about patient immunity to the virus and treatment outcomes that could speed development of treatments and therapies.
About the University of Nottingham
The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage, consistently ranked among the world’s top 100. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our 44,000 students – Nottingham was named both Sports and International University of the Year in the 2019 Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, was awarded gold in the TEF 2017 and features in the top 20 of all three major UK rankings. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia – part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. We are ranked eighth for research power in the UK according to REF 2014. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner – locally and globally.