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Todays's News:24/11/2006_EGEE 5th Industry Day, Helsinki

24 November 2006 – the 5th EGEE Industry Day on Biomedical Challenges in Grid Adoption between Research and Industry - takes place today in Helsinki, Finland. The event is hosted by CSC, the Finnish IT Center for Science.

This Industry Day is devoted to exploring how the pharmaceutical sector is a natural adopter of Grid technologies. Distributed computing enables bio-informatics research, and ultimately pharmaceutical companies to bring products to market faster, with better quality and efficiency, thus gaining a competitive edge in the marketplace and increasing revenue.

The event will offer insight into new solutions aimed at enabling biological and medical problem-solving, as well as a forum for interaction with EGEE management, developers of EGEE Grid infrastructure and experts in bio-informatics. Attendants will have the opportunity to find out about the bio-informatics services offered by CSC, which are built on one of the most powerful computing and network infrastructures in the Nordic countries, in addition to potential future collaboration in the arena of Bio-Medicine.

On the agenda for the day will be an array of case studies and real-life scenarios from both business and research. Kimmo Koski, Head of CSC, will kick off the event with a Welcome Presentation. Dr Tommi Nyronen, Development Manager for Bio-informatics, will discuss Grid computing possibilities in the light of three case studies reflected in CSC bio-informatic activities, several of which are already open for industry collaboration.

The presentation by Dr Christophe Blanchet, CNRS (France), focuses on EGEE’s current developments and results in Bio-informatics, a major application area for the project. A number of applications have already been deployed and stress middleware with specific requirements, especially related to security (sensitivity of data), data management (complex data structures and distribution) and the execution  of large numbers of small jobs with data intensive needs.

Dr Leif Laaksonen, Development Director CSC and Chair of the e-Infrastructure Reflection Group, spotlights the strong enabling role of e-Infrastructures in key areas like bio-informatics, where the kind of research being carried out today would be impossible without these resources. His presentation also highlights the role of e-Infrastructures facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration, capable of crossing thematic and regional borders and supported by substantial educational efforts.

David Manset of Maat-gKnowledge (Spain) presents the first European Industry Case Study, which is dedicated to Mammogrid+, the follow-up project and platform to MammoGrid. Mammogrid+ enables distributed and federated storage of medical information as well as distributed data analysis and image processing at low cost. The project aims to deliver a pre-commercial prototype system in three years from now.

Dr Christophe Roos, representing Medicel, a Finnish IT company, is showcasing the Medicel Integrator®, a powerful research infrastructure for bioscience organisations with increasing data loads. This infrastructure fully supports the continuous accumulation ensuing from the research activities of user organisations. 

Tony Solomonides, University of West of England (UK), presents the roadmap for a European HealthGrid developed by the SHARE project. The goal of SHARE is to ensure the successful take-up of HealthGrid over the next ten years by creating a roadmap for essential technology development in the years to come.

The presentation given by Dr Luciano Milanesi, Institute of Biomedical Technologies, CNR (Italy) revolves around the potential of new biological and biomedical technological platforms in connection with HPC and  GRID technology, which are particularly useful for dealing with the increasing amount, complexity, and heterogeneity of domain specific data. The presentation demonstrates how the EGEE Grid infrastructure and Grid technology developed for the BioinfoGrid project are capable of facing these new challenges successfully.    

The second European Industry Case Study presented by Miklos Kozlovsky of SZTAKI research institute (Hungary) provides an overview of a project that is developing a biomedical Grid platform for high-performance and high-throughput biomedical applications. The P-GRADE Portal and GEMLCA technologies are described along with a demonstration of an ongoing implementation based on both the P-GRADE Portal and GEMLCA infrastructure.

Yannick Legré, CNRS-IN2P3 (France), provides insight into EGEE’s second phase drug discovery initiative, WISDOM (Wide In Silico Docking on Malaria). Neglected and emerging diseases represent major public health concerns for the 21st century. Large-scale Grids for in silico drug discovery help reduce R&D costs for neglected diseases and accelerate R&D for emerging diseases. The first phase of WISDOM (2005-2006) deployed large-scale virtual docking against malaria and the avian flu, which would have required around 80 years using a single PC. A second large-scale deployment is planned for Autumn 2006 and WISDOM is currently testing 150,000 docked compounds per hour on 3,200 computers around the world.

The presentation by Christoph Wierling, Max-Planck-Institute for Molecular Genetics (Germany) demonstrates how the EGEE Grid can be used for Monte-Carlo simulations of various kinds of biological scenarios with kinetic parameters chosen from a given random distribution. The presentation illustrates how the computational power of EGEE Grid technology generates time-efficient simulations aimed at identifying behaviour differences of diverse models reflecting certain biological scenarios.

Per Öster,  KTH (Sweden) will discuss the EGEE framework designed to pave the ground for businesses. This presentation illustrates what the EGEE can deliver in terms of infrastructure operations, middleware, user support and interoperability, along with examples of EGEE applications for Biomedicine. In addition, participants will learn more about EGEE’s outreach to business through the EGEE Industry Forum, the EGEE Task Force, and the EGEE Business Associates.

The afternoon continues with a Q&A session and a Case Study Tour, during which participants are invited to present their current and future activities, needs and priorities, as well as how they view the adoption of Grid by their organisation. Per Öster will then wrap up the day with concluding comments and next steps.

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