IBIN and the Concept of BRICs

Indian Bioresource Information Network (IBIN) is being developed as a distributed national infrastructure to serve relevant information on diverse range of issues of bioresources of the country to a range of end users. Its major goal is to network and promote an open ended, co-evolutionary growth among all the digital databases related to biological resources of the country and to add value to the databases by integration. Indian Bioresource Information Network (IBIN) is designed to serve relevant information on bioresources of the country to the professionals involved in bio-prospecting, marketing, protecting bio-piracy and the conservation of bioresources. IBIN is proposed to be uniquely placed as a single portal data provider on India's bioresource - plant, animal, marine, spatial distribution and microbial resources.

Such an approach intended as a portal called IBIN PORTAL aims to offer a platform for all the data holders in the country to host their data at the same time maintaining their ownership on it. Its major goal is to network and promote an open ended, co- evolutionary growth among all the digital databases related to biological resources of the country and to add value to the databases by integration. Therefore it is hoped that the network would be a valuable asset for the country's research scientists, bio- resource managers, conservationists, policy makers, common man, and entrepreneurs.

IBIN portal will provide platform to the diverse data providers in a mutually sharable environment with full ownership protocols. The data will be maintained and compiled by the owners independently but agree to organize the datasets in uniform standard and provide the data through the Indian Bio-resource Information Network (IBIN) portal. The value added and knowledge acquired from diverse datasets will be of immense value and the IPR will lie with the knowledge builder. Thus IBIN Portal aims to collate, translate and complement information from diverse data servers on bio-prospecting and utilization, protection of rights, conservation and management of biological diversity of the country. It aims at expanding the existing IBIN program through a) creation of a inter-communicating network of databases, b) promoting an open ended and collaborative growth of participant digital databases and, c) serving value added information on issues related to biological diversity and associated knowledge in multiple languages. Such integration would translate the independent databases to useful, relevant and contextual information to the end users involved in bio-prospecting, marketing, protecting bio-piracy and conservation of bioresources.

Thus a major outcome of these discussions on the policy document was the suggestion that the core of IBIN shall expand to involve other potential contributors to IBIN through the development of a Portal. Accordingly the following steps are prioritized for the further growth and expansion of IBIN.

i. Building an IBIN portal :

Development of IBIN as a state of art portal with distributed network environment which will facilitate multi-institutional database linkages on multiple themes and multiple Indian languages.

ii. Strengthening of existing IBIN nodes:

The existing nodes of IBIN viz., the Species data (Jeeva Sampada) maintained at UAS, Bangalore and Spatial data (Jeeva Manchitra) maintained at NRSC Hyderabad would be expanded with all the required facilities.

iii. Establishment of Bio-resource Information Centers (BRICs):

A set of participant organizations willing to contribute to IBIN Portal would be identified and facilitated to be partners of IBIN. In the meanwhile, it was also suggested that IBIN shall develop a business plan for itself and accordingly several rounds of discussions were held on the possible business plan. Among these steps, the first two are submitted as a project already and the third, the establishment of BRICs is being brought through this proposal:

Establishment of BRICS

It is planned to expand the IBIN network system in to a portal on bioresources system. This would be done with the structure shown in figure 2. It calls for two important additions:

  1. Identify a set of laboratories willing to link their databases with the IBIN and invite them as BRICs (Bio-Resource Information Centers) of IBIN.
  2. Facilitate their updating the data in specific areas of their expertise and budgets can be allocated accordingly to different units
  3. Develop a component in the portal of IBIN that can accommodate the data compilation by the end users with profile/ history of the provider.
  4. Set up a National Refereeing System which meets regularly and vets the compiled data to be uploaded on to the web by IBIN (Figure 2).

Steps Taken:
Following two workshops, a set of potential partners were identified based on their own progress, interest and the datasets available and from among them eight organizations were considered for further discussions. However through a process of interactions and interest shown the following five organizations were finally invited for submission of the projects as a first Phase.

  1. Institute of Himalayan Bio-resource Technology, Palampur, Himachal Pradesh.
  2. Bio-informatics Center, NEHU, Shillong.
  3. Foundation for Revitalizing Local health Traditions, Bangalore
  4. National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow.
  5. Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, Bangalore.


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