Bluebee adds NGS analysis framework to cloud genomics platform

Bluebee is making a next-generation sequencing (NGS) data analysis framework from the University of Cologne available on its cloud platform. The partners formed the collaboration to broaden the reach of a framework they see as cutting the time and effort it takes to analyze genomics data.

A bioinformatics unit within the university's Cologne Cluster of Excellence (CECAD) Research Center designed the framework, called QuickNGS, to support internal research. Having applied QuickNGS to research by CECAD into the treatment of aging-associated diseases, the designers of the framework are now offering it to the broader genomics community through the alliance with Bluebee. Delft, Netherlands-based Bluebee will make the framework available on its cloud genomics platform, enabling researchers with relatively basic in-house computing capabilities to use the tool.

The low barrier to implementation of the framework fits in with CECAD's desire to see its creation used widely. For Bluebee, the deal furthers its ambition to help its customers shorten their data analysis timelines. "Offering plug-and-play access to pipelines, extensively tested and validated by reputable institutions, is an essential part of the service Bluebee is offering to its customers," Marc Hogenbirk, head of product management at Bluebee, said in a statement. "Customers can use these pipelines on the fly. If needed however, pipeline reconfiguration is also possible."

Bluebee, which set up shop in 2011 armed with technology advanced by the Delft University of Technology and Imperial College London, picked up €1.75 million ($1.9 million) in funding last year to further its ambitions. The big idea at the heart of Bluebee is to connect sequencing operations to supercomputing clusters. By providing on-demand access to such accelerated hardware, Bluebee thinks it can deliver performance gains alongside the widely discussed benefits of cloud computing. 

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