Breakthrough discoveries in research and development (R&D) are rarely a single individual’s feat. Collaboration paves the way for accelerated advancements, but most often comes up against concerns around data sharing security and the protection of intellectual property (IP). It’s an understandable concern brought to the fore as more and more research is outsourced to contract research organizations (CROs) and partners to speed up drug discovery and develop new therapies.
These collaborations often work on a global scale, with researchers handling vast amounts of data across internal and external boundaries. Not all research is conducted in the same lab, let alone same city or country, and finding a way to effectively communicate and securely share data is a key issue for these organizations.
With Grand View Research reporting that the US Global Healthcare CRO industry is expected to grow significantly over the next few years and the forecast for speciality CROs set to more than double in the coming decade, it’s an area which we can only expect to flourish. With that in mind, both larger and smaller organizations must start to embrace the Cloud for data sharing needs.
More often than not, we see larger companies working with smaller, dynamic organizations, as they are agile and can quickly pick up specific research tasks. This is the ‘new normal’, becoming increasingly prevalent across the pharma and biotech sectors. A lot of these large firms are also collaborating in joint ventures, and letting smaller players that they buy up retain independence – to keep focused on doing what they do so well. Again, Cloud plays a significant role in these collaborative environments to enable the secure collecting and sharing of data as an extension of the corporate firewall.
Confidentiality and content security are key. It’s difficult to convince an IT department to punch a hole in the firewall, so organizations need an extension of their corporate infrastructure into the Cloud. This enables them to extend a secure, real-time workspace for coordinating projects, assigning tasks and streamlining data capture and sharing.
Having this type of system in place can safeguard an organization’s IP. Increasingly pharma and biotech researchers are turning to tools like
E-WorkBook Connect, which offer hosted solutions that allow end-users to easily create, manage and collaborate on projects. Collaborators can define the time period in which they want to share data with each other, and once the collaboration is complete, secured intellectual property can be retained, and sent to internal ELN or LIMs systems.