I²R, STCC, UoN, NUH and BII inked an MoU to create a secured international research data framework to facilitate sharing of healthcare and biomedical research data

From left to right: Dr Marie Quinlan (Senior Clinical Research Physician, Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust), Dr Philip Quinlan (Director of Health Informatics, University of Nottingham), Dr Eng Chon Boon (Platform Lead, STCC Cancer Databases and Tissue Banks), Dr Woo Xing Yi (Senior Principal Scientist, A*STAR Bioinformatics Institute (BII)), Dr Khin Mi Mi Aung (Senior Principal Scientist, A*STAR Institute for Infocomm Research (I²R)).

Behind: Dr Danny Soon (CEO of Consortium for Clinical Research and Innovation, Singapore) and Dr Sebastian Maurer-Stroh (ED of A*STAR Bioinformatics Institute (BII)).

On 13 Feb 2024, A*STAR’s Institute for Infocomm Research (I²R) and Bioinformatics Institute (BII) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Singapore Translational Cancer Consortium (STCC), University of Nottingham (UoN) and Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust (NUH).

This marks the inaugural stride towards creating an international research data framework that encompasses infrastructure, processes, data security and governance. It aims to facilitate the sharing of healthcare and biomedical research data for both local and international research endeavours, allowing data scientists to perform global analyses across existing disparate platforms.

The landscape of research and clinical data has traditionally been fragmented, restricted within specific specialties, and bound by diverse governance and data standards. This poses challenges in health research, hindering the ability to effectively share and analyse data across different systems and regions.

Privacy-Preserving technologies are therefore crucial in bridging the need for data access and analysis while protecting patient privacy and confidentiality. This is where I²R will be contributing our proficiency and experiences in privacy -preserving technologies, to create a system where data can be processed securely while encrypted at its source. 

This will be key to the advancement of medical research within the international and interconnected collaborative research environment that this MoU hopes to establish.