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11 November, 2014 - 21:31 By Tony Quested

Cambridge software to manage vast genomics data

Alban-Rrustemi

IdeaSpace companies in Cambridge are pushing back the frontiers of future technology plays.

Fonleap is developing software to improve the efficiency of managing vast amounts of genomics data. It is working in collaboration with the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) to address problems in big data genomics. The company will develop software that utilises its technology in a new project named PetaGene, backed by Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency (formerly the Technology Strategy Board) as part of its Smart programme. 

Rapid advances in technology have resulted in a reduction in the cost of sequencing a person’s genome by a factor of 10,000 over the past decade. The resulting genomics data volumes pose enormous challenges in terms of storage cost and computational efficiency.

PetaGene addresses challenges in storage and in cluster/cloud computational efficiency in a manner that will be simple to use, transparent and empowering for researchers.

It will be a readily deployed software solution that works on top of existing storage infrastructure, with the potential to improve the performance of big data genomics experiments by an order of magnitude, resulting in more genuine discoveries and leading to better clinical diagnostics and treatments.

PetaGene will reduce resource usage and the cost of building new bioinformatics pipelines for services and routine analysis. It has the potential to bring faster and easier access to bigger scales of datasets that will facilitate more efficient genomics research and analysis.

Fonleap was founded by Dan Greenfield and Alban Rrustemi, who met as computer science PhD students at the University of Cambridge, to address the storage needs of businesses. 

Fonleap’s core IP, Storleap, brings advanced, next-gen storage and synchronisation technologies to existing IT infrastructure.

Award

Another ideaSpace company, Reduse has won an award for its technology that removes print from paper. The company won the Audience Award at the European finals of the Climate KIC (Knowledge and Innovation Community) Venture Competition in Valencia, Spain, part of the EU’s main climate innovation initiative.

The company earlier won €5,000 in the Venture Competition ceremony for the UK’s top climate start-ups, organised by Climate-KIC UK. Reduse’s ‘Unprinter’ can remove print from laser-printed paper, providing cost savings and CO2 reductions.

CEO Hidde-Jan Lemstra said: “Being successful both in the RBS Innovation Gateway and now with the Climate KIC Venture Competition goes to show that, yet again, it’s the simple idea that has the greatest potential. We are on a mission to fix the waste of office paper.”

 

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Fonleap co-founder, Alban Rrustemi

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