By Matthew Dublin
In order address the myriad challenges associated with managing, transporting, analyzing, and integrating the huge amount of genomics data currently out there, BGI, the Technological Top Institute of Green Genetics, Netherlands eScience Centre, and the Netherlands Institute of Bioinformatics have all signed a "Memorandum of Understanding" (MOU). The MOU is aimed at setting standards for the adoption and application of open source and access initiatives for dealing with genomic data and promoting "Big Data"- driven genomics and bioinformatics.
"Genomics revolutionized the life sciences," says Jian Wang, president of BGI. "But the growing flood of genomic data poses an enormous challenge to optimizing and sustaining the benefit of high-throughput sequencing technologies. BGI has made significant efforts to tackle this challenge to advancing life science research, and this cooperative agreement should provide an example for researchers worldwide on the importance and value of shared, sustainable data management and data manipulation in biological and medical studies."
BGI has already made some significant moves on the genomics big data front. Last year, they launched their "BGI-BOX" cloud computing terminal server which aims to allow non-bioinformatics experts to take advantage of genomic data sets and software analysis tools in their own labs. BGI and BioMed Central launched GigaScience, a database and journal focused on hosting and publishing large-scale data.