Bioinformatics software developer BC Platforms and CSC – IT Center for Science, together with researchers from University of Helsinki, have piloted a secure next-generation cloud service for managing and analyzing genomic data. The cooperation resulted in a service model, in which BC Platforms’ data management platform is connected to CSC’s high-performance computational environment.
“The new service model is scalable from the needs of small research groups to massive calculations that require at least hundreds, or even thousands, of computing nodes. The system’s effectiveness is based on massive parallelization” says Timo Kanninen, Director of Research at BC Platforms. BC Platforms is Finland’s leading supplier of information systems for managing genomic data and has provided similar solutions for customers in 18 different countries.
During the past two years, CSC and BC Platforms have brought research groups from the University of Helsinki’s campuses at Meilahti and Viikki in to the pilot project. Professor Jarmo Juga from the Department of Agricultural Sciences was one of the first participants in the pilot: “We needed new server capacity for our genomic data we use in our animal breeding research. Software-wise the BC Platforms’ system works for us and we can manage the scalability with CSC’s virtual servers. As a whole, the combination has proven to be reliable and time-saving in our research projects. Additionally, it has made supervising students’ Master’s theses easier.”
“With this new approach, SMEs and start-ups can develop services for their academic customers, based on the super-efficient computing infrastructure provided for researchers by the Ministry of Education and Culture” tells Pekka Lehtovuori, Director of Services for Research at CSC. In the future plans, a similar approach is to be used in healthcare research, and biobanking.
The pilot project was conducted with resources from the European infrastructure for biological information (ELIXIR). CSC hosts ELIXIR Finland node, funded by the Academy of Finland, the Ministry of Education and Culture, and the European Union.
“Finland has an opportunity to be a pioneer in developing cooperation between businesses and the public services in Europe. The aim is to market Finnish know-how on a wider scale”, says CEO of BC Platforms, Tero Silvola.
CEO, BC Platforms
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Director of ELIXIR Finland, CSC
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About CSC – IT Center for Science
CSC – IT Center for Science Ltd. is a non-profit, state-owned company administered by the Ministry of Education and Culture. CSC maintains and develops the state-owned centralized IT infrastructure and uses it to provide nationwide IT services for research, libraries, archives, museums and culture as well as information, education and research management.