Part 3
Projects & Landmarks
Health & Food / Project


Infrastructure for System Biology Europe

A coordination effort to interconnect the best experimental and modelling facilities for Systems Biology


The Infrastructure for Systems Biology Europe (ISBE) is a distributed Research Infrastructure that enables efficient access to the best expertise, resources and services, such as model building, fit-for-modelling data, tools and training in systems biology. ISBE is built on national strengths, through a matrix of interconnected national systems biology centres, and makes them easily accessible for all European researchers. ISBE will set, improve and promote standardisation of biological data, tools and models as well as operating procedures, ensuring that resources from different laboratories, countries and sectors can be integrated and become re-usable. ISBE play a key role in enhancing the European bio-economy by providing resources and services to academia, industry and the public sector to deliver solutions that address Grand Challenges in healthcare, food production, quality of life, and sustainable bio-energy.

Included in the ESFRI Roadmap 2010, ISBE is planning to apply for the European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) legal framework.


Biological processes are the result of complex dynamic interactions within and between molecules, cells, organs and entire organisms. Systems biology integrates multiple and diverse data sets in predictive computational models, which allow multi-scale exploration of biological systems. This requires combining biological and biomedical data and expertise with knowledge and technologies from the fields of mathematics, computer science, physics and engineering. National governments and the European Commission have recognised the importance of systems biology and have invested in it over the past ten years.

ISBE adds value to national and European investments by offering open access to expertise, resources and training through its matrix of national systems biology centres. The core of ISBE is a pan-European network of interconnected national Systems Biology Centres (nSBCs). Together they will span the wide spectrum of systems biology expertise in health, agriculture, biotech and other branches of the life sciences in academia, hospitals and industry. Each nSBC will be embedded within its national research community and linked to a central coordinating hub (CIO).

The expertise, resources and services that are offered by nSBCs cover the three tightly related expertise domains of ISBE: i) modelling, ii) stewardship and standardisation and iii) model-compliant data generation. In ISBE, the Data Integration Centres are particularly reliant on being able to identify data from suitable physiological conditions that can be incorporated into models. The Data Generation and Stewardship Centres can streamline this process by providing standard formats and interfaces for access, storage and exchange.

steps for implementation

ISBE ended its Preparatory Phase in July 2015. The project was coordinated by the Imperial College London and executed by a Steering Committee with representatives from 23 research institutions and funding bodies from 11 countries. During the Preparatory Phase, ISBE played a key role to link various expertise and technologies into an integrated project and establishing connections with various other ESFRI RIs in a meaningful way – for example allowing the creation of computer models which integrate both omics data from existing Research Infrastructures in the area of life sciences and health.

During the Construction Phase, ISBE has started to deliver web-based services for: i) development of experimental and computational facilities for systems metabolomics; ii) modelling, stewardship of research assets – through FAIRDOM; and iii) training – continuing activities of ERASyAPP. Building phase activities are based on in-kind and in-cash contributions from members of the Consortium.

legal status
political support
prospective member countries
The full list of research institutions involved must be found in the website of the RI
Roadmap Entry
Preparation Phase
Implementation/Construction Phase
Operation Start
estimated costs
capital value
Not Available
Not Available
4.7 M€
10 M€
5.2 M€/year

University of Naples Federico II
Naples, Italy