Nowadays, the rapid advancements of high-throughout sequencing technologies provide us with formidable capacity in genome sequencing, accordingly making biological data increasing at an unprecedentedly exponential rate and resultingly accumulating huge volumes of biological data at diverse omics levels (including genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, epigenomics, metabolomics, etc). To answer the most important and complex biological questions and translate these big data into biomedical knowledge, it is often required to provide researchers with open access to integrated omics data as well as bioinformatics tools.
Importantly, China is now becoming a powerhouse in generating biological data, but there lacked of a data center in China that dedicates to make these big data well-organized and publicly accessible to the worldwide scientific community. Considering that genome-sequencing capacity is still on the rise, such data center is increasingly critical in translating big data into big discovery and in support of activities in both academia and industry.
Beijing Institute of Genomics (BIG) is an academic institution in Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) founded in 2003. Briefly, BIG features important achievements in genome sequencing (including the International Human Genome Project China Part, the Chinese Superhybrid Rice Genome Project, the Pig, Chicken and Silkworm Genome Projects, and so on), pioneers the Chinese Population Precision Medicine Project funded by CAS, and possesses rich experiences in developing and maintaining biological databases.
To take advantage of such valuable resources in BIG and provide data-related services in aid of research activities throughout the world, the establishment of BIG Data Center (BIGD), was proposed and officially approved by BIG Directors on 22 December 2015. In addition to good facility covering more than 20 sequencers (Solid, Solexa, HiSeq, Ion Proton and PacBio), BIGD has advanced high performance computing platform for big data archive, storage and management. From that time, BIGD has made great efforts and also achieved significant progresses in biological data archive, management, and sharing, providing a suite of data resources and services for the global research community.
In June 2019, the National Genomics Data Center (NGDC) was officially founded by the Ministry of Science & Technology and the Ministry of Finance of the People's Republic of China. NGDC is established based on BIGD, jointly in close collaboration with two CAS institutions, namely, Institute of Biophysics (IBP) and Shanghai Institute of Nutrition and Health (SINH). As a national-level center, NGDC is dedicated to advancing life and health sciences by archiving, managing and processing a wide range of genomics related data.
In November 2019, considering the significance of bioinformatics in biological big data deposition, integration and translation, the China National Center for Bioinformation (CNCB) was officially founded based on BIG. With joint efforts from CAS as well as other organizations, CNCB-NGDC aims to provide a wide range of resources for biological big data deposition, integration, and translation.
The primary mission of CNCB-NGDC is to build archive platforms and information systems, develop advanced algorithms and tools to translate big data into big discovery, and provide open access to a suite of database resources in support of research activities of global users from both academia and industry.