Innovation grant awarded for High Performance Computing center of expertise and bioinformatics community

The innovation fund of the VU University medical center has awarded a grant of E100.000 to initiate a High Performance Computing center of expertise and bioinformatics community. These initiatives will provide computational resources and knowledge exchange platforms to the research community of the VUmc and AMC to accelerate our state-of-the-art medical research.

The VUmc and AMC harbors a multitude of innovative and distinctive translational research projects. More than 1,500 colleagues work on this every day. Many of these projects rely on processing vast amounts of data and require sophisticated and complex algorithms to perform the analysis. Think of Google: by combining the right medical and technical expertise, they developed an app that can assess skin abnormalities just as well as a dermatologist. Or the Cancer Genome Atlas: by gathering and processing genomics data from all over the world, they built a valuable public resource for the betterment of cancer research. This kind of research is only made possible by community efforts and access to High Performance Compute (HPC) resources.

A HPC is a collection of computer systems on which computationally intensive tasks can be performed extremely quick and efficient. These tasks are too large for normal “desktop” computers and require a specialized approach. HPC is indispensable in many applications, ranging from pathology to radiology and from research to clinic.

The HPC center of expertise will coordinate and provide compute resources to the research community of the VUmc and AMC. In addition the bioinformatics community will improve knowledge sharing between research groups by setting up a platform which provides seminars, workshops and howto’s, all gathered into an up-to-date website and wiki for future reference. We cordially invite colleagues that work with complex computational tasks to join and make this project a success. You can express your interest at hpc@vumc.nl.

The VUmc innovation fund was conceived to give employees the opportunity to contribute smart and innovative ways of working together and to improve patient care. Mid 2017, a call for proposals was announced for the innovation round 2018. The awarded proposals were approved by the board of directors, following the advice of the ‘IV council’.