CRDC teams collaborate with national and international organizations to ensure that research data are secure and accessible to the broad cancer research community. The team engages in bold initiatives to develop novel ways of using and understanding data for cancer research as a model for all biomedical research.


The Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H)

The Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) is a US government funding agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that supports high-impact research capable of driving biomedical and health breakthroughs that can deliver transformative, sustainable, and equitable health solutions for everyone. ARPA-H’s mission focuses on leveraging research advances for real world impact. 

NCI has partnered with ARPA-H to build the ARPA-H Biomedical Data Fabric (BDF) Toolbox. The NCI Center for Biomedical Informatics & Information Technology (CBIIT) Informatics and Data Science Program is working with ARPA-H to develop prototype tools using cancer data as the first use case. Researchers can apply the information learned to other disease domains, building the foundation for data to be interoperable.

Ultimately, ARPA-H and NCI will focus on solutions that take data science innovation to a new level in the biomedical research community. ARPA-H and NCI aim to produce easy-to-use dashboards to analyze, explore, and learn from the data. Additionally, they seek revolutionary approaches to help researchers collect data in a standardized, harmonized format to lower the barriers associated with data collection, reduce the time needed to integrate new data sources, and improve data usability across disciplines and biomedical literacy levels. 

NCI’s Cancer Research Data Commons will engage the ARPA-H BDF Toolbox by providing data, use cases, lessons learned, analytical workflows, and evaluating capabilities to integrate best-in-class tools into its ecosystem.  Learn more about the NCI / ARPA-H collaboration to develop ARPA-H BDF Toolbox.


Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH)

The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) unites the international research community in advancing human health through genomic data and beyond. Together, the community develops technical standards, policy frameworks, and tools that expand responsible, voluntary, and secure use of genomic and other related health data. GA4GH includes more than 500 member organizations in health care, patient advocacy, research, ethics, government, life science, and information technology. This community builds consensus in an inclusive and pre-competitive process to produce global standards.

GA4GH is building a secure “internet of genomics.” The goal is to support researchers and clinicians in work based on world-wide genomic and related data, while protecting the privacy and rights of people who have shared their data. The GA4GH community develops free, open-source products that make it simple and safe to request, access, and study data stored anywhere. 

CRDC is one of the GA4GH driver projects aiming to advance real-world genomics data interoperability by providing one of the largest Data Repository Service (DRS) API-compliant data platforms and use cases to implement GA4GH standards through continuous engagement with international cancer research communities and beyond.


NIH Cloud Platform Interoperability (NCPI) Effort 

Connecting NIH’s various data systems is a critical step toward improving researchers’ access to all types of data. The NIH Cloud Platform Interoperability (NCPI) effort seeks to create a federated data ecosystem. By focusing on interoperability, this effort ensures that researchers can find and integrate data more easily from the CRDC as well as with the other NCPI collaborating organizations and platforms. The NCPI effort is guided by scientific and technical interoperability use cases across participating platforms. Learn more about interoperability use cases.


NIH Research Auth Service (RAS) Initiative

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Researcher Auth Service (RAS) Initiative is part of NIH’s work toward a modernized, FAIR, biomedical data ecosystem. RAS facilitates access to NIH’s open and controlled access data assets and repositories in a consistent, secure, and user-friendly manner. It provides researchers with a single sign-on experience across participating data resources. This service is provided by the NIH’s Center for Information Technology and developed in collaboration with the NIH Office of Data Science Strategy.

NIH RAS is advancing data infrastructure and ecosystem goals by leveraging appropriate policies that promote stewardship and sustainability. Many of these policies have been and continue to be developed by the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH). The NIH RAS also recognizes and implements OpenID standards for integration of researcher-focused applications and data repositories over the OpenID Connect (OIDC) platform.

By offering a cloud-based, centralized, authentication, authorization, and audit logging service, NIH RAS is enhancing the overall security posture of the NIH data ecosystem. With RAS, NIH-supported data systems delegate important identity and access controls to this central NIH service. For researchers working in the NIH data ecosystem, NIH RAS provides a single sign-on (SSO) experience that enhances the user experience when searching for and accessing NIH’s open and controlled data assets.