Focusing on the bioinformatics needs of the cancer community, the National Cancer Institute has begun a pilot program aimed at enabling and enhancing collaborative efforts to elucidate the biology of the disease and create novel interventions for it. Creation of the Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG) began last summer with seminars attended by more than 100 participants from NCIsupported cancer centers, and visits by five teams of scientists and information technology specialists to 49 cancer centers to discuss their informatics strengths, needs, and potential contributions to the network. The institute initially intends to create what it calls workspaces within each cancer center. These sites will match a center's skills and resources with other researchers who could benefit from sharing data. NCI will fund workspaces to develop new data management applications and adapt existing analytical research tools, with the ultimate goal of making the tools available to researchers through caBIG. Some workspaces will focus on specific issues with wide applications, such as vocabularies, data standardization, and software architecture.