The French bioinformatics community is currently setting up a national infrastructure of services in Bioinformatics called “Institut Français de Bioinformatique” (IFB). IFB serves as a unique entry point for requests of services from the life science community and is in charge of coordinating and structuring the activities of the regional bioinformatics platforms. IFB is the prospective French ELIXIR Node.
IFB consists of a national hub, IFB-core, and more than 20 bioinformatics platforms organized in six regional centers. These PFs belong to the main French research organizations:
- CNRS: National Centre for Scientific Research
- CEA: Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission
- INRA: National Institute for Agriculture Research
- INRIA: National Institute for Computer Science and Control
- INSERM: National Institute for Health and Medical Research
- Pasteur and Curie Institutes (research foundations)
Provision of services
The main task of IFB is to provide core bioinformatics resources to the French life science community. The resources that are provided correspond to i) well-curated specialized databases, ii) on-line tools and services, iii) dedicated IT infrastructures, iv) support to life science projects and v) training.
IFB platforms intend to provide added value to various data produced routinely by biological platforms and newly created national infrastructures in sequencing, genotyping, proteomics, metabolomics, etc. IFB, as the French ELIXIR node, will focus on the development of services for integrative curation of biological data.
IFB will provide access to well-curated databases, tools and services in:
three biological domains:
- D-1: Microbial world
- D-2: Plants
- D-3: Health
two transversal fields:
- F-1: Phylogeny and classification
- F-2: Protein sequence and structures
and two transversal activities:
- A-1: Management and analysis of metagenomic data
- A-2: Deployment of an academic cloud dedicated to analyses of life science data
Building on the training and education programs already proposed by the regional PFs, IFB will endeavour to coordinate and compile a national training and education programbased on E-learning technologies.