Federated artificial intelligence for privacy-preserving international stratification of colorectal cancer patients

In the EU, colorectal cancer (CRC) affects 1 in 35 women and 1 in 23 men, causing approximately 340,000 cases and 156,000 deaths in 2020, with an annual economic burden of around 20 billion EUR. Timely CRC identification is crucial, typically involving a costly colonoscopy following a fecal immunological test (FIT).

We aim to increase colonoscopy necessity prediction specificity by over 20% using metagenomic microbiomes. AI-driven microbiome profiles can optimize personalized therapy, but limited access to broad microbiome data hinders progress.

Overcoming privacy regulations, we’re creating the first privacy-preserving federated big data network in CRC research, integrating national databases for over 5,000 CRC-screened individuals, projected to reach 100,000 by 2026. Microb-AI-ome ensures data privacy, keeping sensitive information within local databases. It classifies clinical CRC phenotypes, demonstrated in practice, facilitating evidence-based guideline adoption. Our consortium of CRC, microbiomics, AI, software, and privacy experts bridges the gap between privacy and big data in global medical research.

The role of Egnosis

As the IT brand powered by Gnome Design Ltd, Egnosis delivers unique industrial software solutions through a close-knit team, contributing as a reliable partner in EU-funded Horizon Research Programs in bioinformatics and healthcare. Egnosis strengthens research projects with over 15 years of market-validated software development excellence.

Within Microb-AI-ome, Egnosis contributes to the creation of a federated database network for international colorectal cancer data (our focus being on API, containerization, and sandboxing), as well as federated artificial intelligence models and patient stratification apps, application, and validation of federated AI models, dissemination, communication and management.

Additionally, Egnosis leads WP 8 – Exploitation to make Microb-AI-ome widely accepted and visible to potential stakeholders. To achieve this goal, we will develop effective strategies and take necessary steps to maximize the benefits and business potential of Microb-AI-ome’s key outputs, including the CRC Profiler apps and the CRC Stratifier software, which can be used as medical diagnostic tools. We will create an exploitation strategy and implement it to achieve our objectives.

Project data

Start date: 1 April 2023

Duration: 5 years

Horizon Europe Funding: €5.99 million

Egnosis’ Budget: €500,000


Project coordinator: University of Hamburg (Germany)

Participants: 7 institutes from 5 countries


Meet the members and further news and publications on the project website or visit Cordis


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 101079777. This website reflects only the authors’ view and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.