International Seminar on
BioData and AI (ISBA)

Saturday 9 September 2023

China National GeneBank, Shenzhen, China


This workshop brings together international researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and ethicists to discuss the crucial issues that arise at the intersection of data science, the life sciences, artificial intelligence (AI), and society. As these fields continue to advance rapidly, it is essential to address the policy and ethical challenges they pose to ensure responsible and beneficial outcomes for individuals and society as a whole. This workshop will examine the ways in which new data and AI technologies are developed, introduced, and implemented in the life sciences, industry, and society. It will give particular attention to a focus on economics and the advancement of the life sciences and their impact on health, the environment, and society. The sessions will explore how human, animal, and plant (organic) specimens and data are collected, processed, and used by science, industry, and government to address the needs of our societies. The role of various ML and AI models, their implementation, and their impact will be considered within the development of legal structures, policy, and governance models for new technologies, the life sciences, data, and AI. The workshop will examine how we can support the development of genomics, multi-omics, and the life sciences using policy and ethics to empower, not only our economies and healthcare systems, but also citizens by creating healthier and more harmonized societies.


The primary objective of the workshop is to foster interdisciplinary dialogue that encourages meaningful discussions and collaborations among experts from diverse disciplines engaged with data science, the life sciences, AI, policy making, and ethics. The following aims support this primary objective:
  • Within the context of open science and new emerging technologies, the workshop will investigate the policy implications and considerations arising from the use of data science, the life sciences, AI applications, and their impact on society.
  • The workshop will address the ethical challenges posed by the development and deployment of data science, life sciences, AI technologies and applications, and consider ethical frameworks for responsible innovation.
  • The workshop will promote responsible practices that foster the adoption of responsible frameworks and conduct in data science, life sciences, and AI to safeguard privacy, equity, fairness, transparency, and accountability.
  • The workshop will facilitate knowledge exchange by providing a platform for participants to share their research findings, best practices, case studies, and experiences related to policy and ethics in the intersecting fields.
  • The workshop will examine pathways and methodologies for the development of state-of-the-art platforms for education and expertise development in ethics and governance to meet the needs of academia, industry, government agencies, and NGOs in developing young leadership for our digital societies.


The workshop will cover a broad range of topics related to policy and ethics at the interface between data science, the life sciences, artificial intelligence, and society. Some of the key topics to be discussed include:
This workshop is designed to bridge disciplinary boundaries, foster collaboration, and contribute to shaping the future policy and ethics landscapes in these rapidly evolving fields and closely related fields. The workshop will contribute to building a responsible and inclusive approach to the interface between data science, the life sciences, artificial intelligence, and society.


8:30 - 9:00

Registration of Onsite Participants

9:00 - 9:30

Welcome and Opening Remarks

9:30 - 11:00

Opening Plenary Session

Innovation for addressing critical challenges in society at the interface between the digital and life sciences

11:00 -11:30

Coffee & Tea Break, Group Photo

11:30 - 12:30

Panel Discussion

Examining ethical and legal frameworks for governing data, AI, and science in our digitalized societies

12:30 - 14:00

Lunch Break

14:00 - 15:30

Parallel Sessions (TBC)

Parallel Session 1: Examining the evolution of the digital and biological sciences: from genomics to biology, to precision and generative medicine, to global comprehensive health: from omics data to big data to ML and AI
Parallel Session 2: Responsible AI policy, ethics, and governance for digital systems and the life sciences in digital societies

15:30 - 16:30

Closing Plenary Session

Ensuring a human-centric approach to the data and biological sciences and their applications to solving societal challenges

16:30 - 16:45

Closing Remarks

Next steps in building a collaborative future

16:45 - 16:50

Close of the seminar

16:50 - 18:00

Tour of the China National GeneBank (CNGB) In-person and online


China National GeneBank (CNGB), Jinsha Road, Dapeng District, Shenzhen


China National GeneBank (CNGB) is one of the key science infrastructures in Shenzhen, approved and funded by the Chinese government. CNGB is committed to supporting public welfare, life science research, innovation, and industry development, through effective bioresource conservation, digitalization, and utilization.

China National GeneBank (CNGB) is owned by the government and operated independently by BGI-Research under the guidance and supervision of the State High-Tech Industrial Innovation Center, Shenzhen (HIIC).

CNGB is a public, non-profit, open, and enabling platform. It facilitates advanced genomics R&D and technology transfer to industrial applications, including precision medicine, agriculture, marine sciences, and microbial application, towards its mission of making genetic resources “Owned by All, Completed by All, and Shared by All”.


China National GeneBank DataBase (CNGBdb) is a platform focusing on biological data's interoperability and reusability, providing data archiving and online analysis. CNGBdb has been certified by FAIRsharing, re3data, and OpenDOAR.

CNGB Sequence Archive (CNSA), the data archiving system of CNGBdb, is a public repository for biological data, offering data archiving, preservation, sharing, and publication. As of Jul 2023, CNSA has supported 4,485 projects submission from 456 institutions, including over 11 Petabyte data and 0.8 million samples. CNSA accessions were cited in 1,237 publications.


International Advisory

Dr. Simon HODSON
CODATA, International Science Council
Dr. Xun XU
Director of BGI Research
Executive Director of BGI Group
Mr. Francis CRAWLEY
International Data Policy Committee, CODATA
Prof. Perihan Elif EKMEKCI
International Data Policy Committee, CODATA
Mr. Liqun CHEN
China National GeneBank
Dr. Lili ZHANG
CNIC, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Organising committee

Mr. Christopher ZHU
International Data Policy Committee, CODATA
Mr. Xiaofeng WEI
China National GeneBank
Ms. Lijin YOU
China National GeneBank
Mr. Cong HUA
BGI Research,Wuhan


CODATA: Committee on Data of the ISC

Guangdong Science & Technology Infrastructure(GDSTI)

China National GeneBank (CNGB)


International Science Council (ISC)

Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)


Global Open Science Cloud


+86 0755 33945586
China National GeneBank (CNGB), Jinsha Road, Dapeng District, Shenzhen