2nd Annual Biodiversity and Health Big Data (BHBD) Alliance Meeting

July 18, 2019

Venue: COMSTECH Secretariat, Islamabad

Deadline for Applications: June 25, 2019

Loss of biodiversity has become a serious issue in many places around the world including many OIC states due to man-made or natural reasons. Additionally, the OIC region suffers from a vast gap in the use of Big Data for Health and medicine to improve quality of health provided in these countries. Keeping these in mind and realizing the significance of the use of Big Data in Health, agriculture, bio-conservation and biodiversity, COMSTECH has partnered with BHBD alliance to initiate an effort to enhance the use of Big Data platforms for health, medical technologies, agriculture and biodiversity in OIC States.

COMSTECH in collaboration with Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, Pakistan and Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China will host 2nd Annual Biodiversity and Health Big Data (BHBD) Alliance Meeting at COMSTECH Islamabad, Pakistan. The BHBD*http://www.iubs.org/activities/initiatives/open-biodiversity-and-health-data/news.html is a non-profit, non-governmental organization for promoting biodiversity and health big data sharing in the world, under the framework of "Open Biodiversity and Health Big Data Initiative" by the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS).

Current Member Countries of BHBD Alliance

The BHBD Alliance was established in October 2018 in Beijing. Five institutions from China, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Thailand became the founding members, which marked the first step of the Alliance. Prof. Yiming Bao, Director of BIG Data Center, Beijing Institute of Genomics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China is the Chairperson of BHBD Alliance.

Aims of BHBD Alliance

  • To develop a platform for biodiversity and health big data integration, translation and sharing.
  • To promote and facilitate biodiversity and health big data sharing within the Alliance.
  • To construct a world-class biodiversity and health big data center containing a variety of repositories and knowledge bases that are publicly accessible to worldwide communities.
  • To promote the level of participation and influence of BHBD in global biological research.

Agenda of 2nd (BHBD) Alliance Meeting

The tentative agenda of the meeting is as follows:

  • Discuss the possibilities of expansion of BHBD Alliance to OIC countries (Organization of Islamic Cooperation).
  • Discuss the establishment of working groups in certain fields (e.g. Biocuration, genome analysis, health big data, Biodiversity and other relevant disciplines).
  • Discuss collaboration on certain scientific projects among BHBD members.
  • Discuss the possibility of providing opportunities for academic communication and exchanges by exploring the areas of potential collaborations in the fields of precision medicine, genomics, bioinformatics and big data etc.
  • Nomination of Scientific Advisory Board members.
  • Vote for the admission of new members applying for the Alliance.

Call for Participation for OIC states:

COMSTECH has invited applications for the first phase of this initiative from relevant ministries of a group of selected OIC states. The invited OIC states are Azerbaijan, Egypt, Iran, Indonesia, Malaysia, Qatar, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE and Uganda,

The delegates from these countries will be “observers” of this meeting. After discussion and deliberation, they can choose to request for BHBD alliance membership.

COMSTECH will provide boarding and lodging to the OIC participants. However, due to limited funding, participants are requested to bear their own travel expenses.

Significance of BHBD alliance for OIC

By developing a multi-omics data standardization technology system, the project will build up an applied and open platform for global life omics data, which is based on BIG Data Center, with the purpose to realize the archive; storage and sharing of physically dispersed omics data.

The alliance's goal is to promote global integration and public access to biological and life sciences data among member countries. The data cover diseases and pathogens, genetic information from living organisms, economic crops and other key biological resources. Sharing and integrating the data would advance scientific research and create new sustainable solutions to complex global challenges, such as food security, aging populations and environmental degradation.

Benefits of Joining BHBD alliance

  • Access to Beijing Institute of Genomics (BIG) data center and its database
  • Collaboration for analytic facilities
  • Exchange of scientists and experts among member countries
  • Research collaboration in this field of biodiversity, genomics, bioinformatics and Crop informatics


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