The Belgian EMBnet Node (in short « BEN ») is an initiative of the Laboratory of Bioinformatics of the Université libre de Bruxelles. It has been installed in March 1993 with the full financial support of the Belgian Science Policy Offices. It addresses the needs for reliable data sources for the Belgian scientific community in the fields of molecular biology and more generally of life science.

BEN is part of the EMBnet (European Molecular Biology Network) and is the national biocomputing support for Belgian scientific researchers in molecular biology, biotechnology and biomedical sciences, since 1993. Ben maintains an SRS server offering access to more than 40 databanks and maintains the Belgian mirror of the human genome database, GDB. BEN ensures also educational functions and provides biocomputing services at about 350 “user accounts”, through a very large range of analysis tools.

The contribution of the BEN group to SIMDAT is based on its expertise in biocomputing analysis, biological data-mining and database design and management on one side, and on the experience of members of its staff in experimental developmental genetics on the other side. BEN is responsible for one workpackage (WP) centred on the identification, by comparative genomics, of limb specific footprints in HOX complexes. BEN will also participate in the other WPs in their informatic developments and data-mining aspects. BEN has been already involved in several academic and industrial research projects contributing in its expertise in a large diversity of biocomputing domains. The BEN group has standing collaborations in three EU-financed projects.

European Molecular Biology Network

University of Bruxelles website