Over an eight year period, CBIIT implemented and led the caBIG (cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid) initiative to accelerate research discoveries and improve patient outcomes by linking researchers, physicians, and patients throughout the cancer community. caBIG served as the cornerstone of NCIs biomedical informatics efforts to transform cancer research into a more collaborative, efficient, and effective endeavor. In May, 2012, the NCI implemented The National Cancer Informatics Program (NCIP), a new program to support the biomedical informatics needs of the cancer research community and to support research at a variety of levels, ranging from analysis of experiments performed by individual investigators to creating the enterprise infrastructure for large distributed cooperative trials, translational research and large scale genomics research. In implementing the NCIP, NCI reassessed the caBIG program and began charting a new course for the informatics infrastructure that will support the NCIs research programs. The NCIP is chartered to develop a new vision for interoperable biomedical information systems, built on community-driven data standards to support the cancer research enterprise. At a high-level, the NCIP is expected to consist of at least four component parts. These include: Biomedical Informatics Training; Biomedical Informatics Infrastructure; Biomedical Informatics and Computational Biology; and In Silico Biology. The NCIP will leverage the investments made in, and lessons learned from caBIG and a number of successful caBIG tools and components will be maintained and integrated into the NCIP, while others have been scaled back or eliminated. The caBIG program has been in operation for most of FY2012 and stewards access to digital capabilities essential to enhancing researchers capacity to utilize biomedical information. Many of these activities will continue in FY2013 within the NCIP, under the Biomedical Informatics Infrastructure component of the Program. The Goals of the caBIG program have included, and those of the NCIP program will include: 1. Standards. Widespread dissemination and use throughout the cancer community of community-driven, pre-competitive open source standards for data exchange and interoperability in cancer research 2. Academic Software Development Community. Robust academic community developing, maintaining, enhancing, and disseminating their innovative biomedical informatics capabilities. 3. Setting of Strategy by Researchers. Dynamic involvement of researchers to identify and prioritize biomedical informatics needs in cancer biology and clinical research, as well as requirements for interoperability. 4. Availability of Critical Capabilities. Widespread, sustainable availability of critical standards-based, interoperable academic/commercial biomedical capabilities. 5. Availability of Data. Large and diverse cancer research data sets sustainably available for analysis, integration, and mining. It accomplishes these goals through: 1. Community. The caBIG program engages and facilitates a productive and diverse community including industry, standards development organizations and open source development entities. In addition, the CBIIT staff engages appropriate NCI Consortia and partners with a variety of NIH programs to augment such a community 2. Capabilities. The caBIG program introduces and enables access to cutting-edge capabilities. The CBIIT staff partners with NCI Scientific Divisions to support high impact areas that have been prioritized by the program. That support is directed at academic investigators. Such support gives precedence to existing academic and commercial software, and as necessary invests in development of open source code where there are not existing capabilities. 3. Connectivity. The caBIG program acts as an honest broker of community-driven, pre-competitive, open source standards and interoperability specifications.
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