To develop a data/knowledge management system [(TRInity Lab OBserving Information TEchnology (Trilobite)] for all activities occurring in the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute (TBSI) and create a centre of excellence with a re-deployable template for the roll-out of such systems to other Institutes as well as showcasing the technology and associated skillsets. Prior to successful completion of the project, Trilobite will be implemented within at least five other public EU institutes.
The Trilobite ecosystem, as any other ecosystem, will be formed by people, community, applications, services, technology, data and devices linked through communication and interaction. In order to deal with such complexity we will design a cellular infrastructure of interconnected individual Trilobite cells (T-cell). Each cell will form its own closed ecosystem confined by its location, connectivity, available devices and its users. Each T-cell will be a web server application containing user management, content management, workflow engine, task management, all necessary user interfaces, APIs, web services and any other necessary or optional functionality. Each T-cell will have its own SQL database on background.
This architecture will give each user the choice of selecting an appropriate infrastructure, setup and setting for each project or different stages of the same project. The ecosystem will be highly scalable and flexible based on minimal cost of implementation and ownership due to making use of pre-existing infrastructure, devices, systems, tools and other solutions.
The underlying technology, Motion, is an Internet cloud knowledge management technology, unlike other existing systems it already provides many essential features and functionalities necessary for the creation of a fully functional ecosystem such as advanced user management, superior content access management, workflow engine, basic connectivity with external systems and many others.
The central core of the Trilobite ecosystem will be an online web portal where users will create their personal and research profiles, register all their T-cells and will be able to search for data/knowledge within them as well as within the publically shared Trilobite ecosystem. This does not mean that all T-cells will have to be registered on the Trilobite portal as each T-cell will be fully functional on its own or it will be able to connect to unlimited number of other standalone T-cells. On the other hand this architecture allows us to develop and implement additional functionalities as for example web services providing data in specific format.
An essential aspect of the Trilobite ecosystem will be centres of excellence and data backup centres. They will consist of web and database servers with all Trilobite software installed and trained staff. Centres of excellence will provide extra services such as training, guidance, manuals, publications, special tools, template workflows, assistance, virtual T-cells and so on. Backup centres will allow full or partial backup of local T-cells (preferably encrypted) and it will also be possible to synchronise all or selected projects from local T-cells with an unlimited number of other T-cells or centres of excellence.
The project will follow two main interdependent directions – social and technological.
The social research will focus on behaviour of users, their needs, ideas, their relationships, cooperation, communication, communities, processes including research and administrative processes, sharing of skills and knowledge, their adaptability to new technologies, ideas and processes, their feedback, suggestions, comments and so on. Output of this research will be continuously turned into user stories/technical requirements and specifications to be developed and implemented as technological solutions. In conjunction with this, the technological research will focus on secure data exchange, the optimal way of data sharing regarding size, performance, required infrastructure, protection, level of complexity, user management, access rights, content management, data mining, data extraction, data conversion, web services including their protection, data import and export, interaction between systems and so on. The circle will close when developed technological solutions will be turned into user manuals, new protocols, new workflows etc. and will be made available for users.
That is why we created eight work packages with their own clear objectives but requiring very close cooperation and constant communication between all participants due to output from one work package feeding directly into another related work package. For example, a desired structure of a specific scientific report currently manually compiled by scientists gathered in WP2 will be a technical specification of newly developed interface within WP1 or WP3. This project structure will lead to continuous improvement of skills and knowledge of all participants. The initial “testing” ecosystem will be implemented in Trinity College Dublin (TCD) where it will start at a research group level system but it will be roll out to other groups/departments/schools and administrative units once all required functionalities are available. A brief overview of the work packages is provided below.