Empowering African Scientists with ADBEx
In this case study, we will take you on a journey through the remarkable project for our client, ADBEX (African Data and Bio-Exchange). The mission was to create an online marketplace that empowers African scientists by enabling them to find and share research datasets and biological samples. We are working to solve challenges faced by African researchers and scientists by building a platform that promotes equitable and ethical resource sharing to ensure benefits to the people of Africa.
The heart of the problem lies in inequitable use of biological samples and data generated in Africa. Such resources collected from African individuals and populations are often sent out of Africa for storage and analysis, where they may be used to develop medicines and vaccines that rarely come back to benefit Africans socially or financially. Recognising the need to address this issue, ADBEX approached Hominum with a visionary concept - to create an online marketplace that allows African scientists to access, share, and manage their own biological datasets and samples.
This way, African researchers can retain oversight of the biospecimens and data they have generated, and can negotiate onward sharing and use that ensures benefits reach the African population and research ecosystem that generated those resources.
Another challenge faced by African scientists was the complexity of brokering data sharing agreements. The legal and contractual aspects of such agreements often posed significant barriers for researchers who had limited knowledge in these areas.
To address this issue, the ABDEx platform includes a marketplace of datasets and bio-samples, with functionality to connect scientists with resources to those wanting to use them as well as a sophisticated system that automates the creation of data- and biospecimen-sharing agreements. This innovative approach took the burden off scientists, allowing them to focus on their research, ensure ethical and equitable onward use of their data and sample collections, and collaborate with ease.
Success in numbers
Managed on Notion, designed in Figma and built with Svelte
Jane Parkins (55)
Head of legal services
Meet Jane, the esteemed Head of Legal Services, equipped with an LLB qualification from South Africa.
Absolute legal compliance across the institute.
Crafting a robust policy framework for the institute’s success.
Michael Kariuki (57)
Department of Health Representative
Meet Michael, a Principal Investigator from South Africa with MBChB and PhD qualifications.
Elevate his research profile.
Secure vital funding.
Mentor graduate students.
John Koffi (34)
Meet John, an accomplished researcher from Ghana with a Ph.D. in pathogen genomics.
Enhance biospecimen accessibility.
Prepare rights documentation for industry standard and ethical compliance.
Prof Margaret Leblanc (50)
Meet Prof. Margaret, a renowned researcher and professor at McGill University, Canada, with a Ph.D. in Molecular Genomics.
Support her students
Our design hints at an African shield safeguarding data and a DNA strand, uniting protection and science.
We embraced the essence of timeless African shades, binding them with the traditional hues one would find in the domain of Scientific Research.
Our color palette mirrors KwaZulu-Natal homes, embodying our identity as a brand by and for African Researchers.
Archivo and Inter fonts enhance our web app's usability, ensuring clear readability and harmonious user experience.
“Hominum has provided us with an excellent service that was both highly professional and very personalised. The team has been absolutely instrumental in the design and implementation of the African Data and Bio-specimen Exchange, and their level of investment in the success of our project has made it a pleasure to work with them”
This project has been made possible by a Calestous Juma Fellowship awarded to Professor Nicki Tiffin by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.