The University of Nottingham’s UKCRC Tissue Directory and Coordination Centre (UKCRC TDCC) has today launched its advanced data search tool, known as ATLAS, enabled by BC Platforms technology. ATLAS is a search tool that enables researchers to find information about population cohorts relevant to their research. The launch is the result of an existing research collaboration between the University of Nottingham formed and BC Platforms. BC Platforms adapted its federated data sharing technology in order to develop an open standard that can be utilised and reimplemented by any accredited party across the biobanking network. The communication protocols used in developing ATLAS are being made public, offering opportunities for future innovation as they can be developed and used by others.
ATLAS provides access to detailed, live information about the data associated with tissue samples initially from three organisations: NIHR Bioresource, Generation Scotland and the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) and aiming at connecting over 200 biobanks covering UK’s population. It is designed to facilitate more efficient communications between researchers and sample resources, and in turn, contribute to faster, more economical health research.
Speaking about the initiative, UKCRC TDCC Director, Phil Quinlan said: “We are really pleased that BC Platforms has taken such a bold step to allow us to leverage their proprietary communication protocols for the benefit of the health research community.”
Tero Silvola, CEO of BC Platforms, said, “We are excited to see the launch of research collaboration with the UKCRC TDCC and to share our platform to enable standardized and systematic data sharing in a safe and secure manner across the UK biobanking ecosystem. We look forward to close collaboration with the UK data network.”
ATLAS has been supported by Health Data Research UK (HDR UK). As collaborative work with HDR develops, it is hoped that ATLAS will interlink with other data access platforms. The project was also supported by Nic Timpson from the University of Bristol.
Registration to ATLAS is open to academic and industry researchers. Click here to register.
If you are a biobank, cohort study, or other human sample resource interested in joining ATLAS please email atlas@BiobankingUK.org.