The eBioKit, a stand-alone educational platform for bioinformatics.
Bioinformatics skills have become essential for many research areas; however, the availability of qualified researchers is usually lower than the demand and training to increase the number of able bioinformaticians is an important task for the bioinformatics community. When conducting training or hands on tutorials the lack of control over the analysis tools and repositories often results in undesirable situations during training as unavailable online tools or version conflicts may delay, complicate or even prevent the successful completion of a training event.
The eBioKit is a stand-alone educational platform that hosts numerous tools and databases for bioinformatics research and allow training to take place in a controlled environment. A key advantage of the eBioKit over other existing teaching solutions is that all the required software and databases are locally installed on the system, significantly reducing the dependence on the Internet. Furthermore, the architecture of the eBioKit has demonstrated to be an excellent balance between portability and performance, not only making the eBioKit an exceptional educational tool, but also providing small research groups with a platform to incorporate bioinformatics analysis in their research.
As a result the eBioKit has formed an integral part of training and research performed by a wide variety of universities and organizations such as the African Bioinformatics Network (H3ABioNet) as part of the initiative H3Africa, the Southern Africa Network for Biosciences (SAnBio) initiative, the Biosciences eastern and central Africa (BecA) hub, and the International Glossina Genome Initiative.