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Intel, Broad Institute Ink $25M Pact for Genomic Data Analysis

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Intel Corporation and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard today announced a new $25 million, five-year collaboration that will focus on offering improved tools for analyzing large quantities of genomic data from diverse sources.

The partnership builds upon an existing collaboration between the Broad and Intel. Earlier this year, Intel worked with the Broad to develop improved versions of several tools including the Broad's Genome Analysis Toolkit. Under the terms of the current agreement, the partners have established the so-called Intel-Broad Center for Genomic Data Engineering that will focus on building, optimizing, and sharing tools and infrastructure that help scientists integrate and process genomic data.

Specifically, under the five-year agreement researchers at the Intel-Broad center will work on optimizing hardware recommendations for the Broad's Genome Analysis Toolkit for genomic workloads for on-premise, public cloud, and hybrid cloud use cases. They will also develop optimized versions of several software tools, including the GATK, that will be able to run on industry-standard Intel-based platforms. Lastly, the partners plan to develop workflow execution models that will allow healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies, and academic research organizations collaborate across complex and distributed datasets, the partners said.

"Intel and Broad share the common vision of harnessing the power of genomic data and making it widely accessible for research around the world to yield important discoveries," Diane Bryant, executive vice president and general manager of Intel's data center group, said in a statement. "We each bring to the collaboration our unique expertise and capabilities. At Intel, through the use of artificial intelligence, we are confident we can solve the massive data challenges facing the industry."

"We plan to build out solutions that can work across different infrastructures to facilitate efficient processing of these growing data sets, and then make these tools openly available for researchers worldwide," Eric Banks, director of the Broad's data sciences and data engineering group, said in a statement. "Our work is a step toward building something analogous to a superhighway to connect disparate databases of genomic information for the advancement of research and precision medicine."

Last week, the Broad announced a five-year, $50 million research initiative that will use IBM Watson's computational and machine learning methods to study drug resistance in thousands of tumors.

For a more in-depth look at the collaboration between the Broad and Intel, click here.

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