Intel and Janssen Pharmaceutica to collaborate with imec and 5 Flemish universities to open ExaScience Life Lab

Lab will allow development of even more powerful supercomputers for life sciences research

(PresseBox) ( Leuven, )
Today, Intel, , imec and five Flemish universities (UA, UGhent, KULeuven, UHasselt, VUB) announced the planned foundation of the ExaScience Life Lab on the imec campus in Leuven, with which Janssen Pharmaceutica will collaborate in the future. The ExaScience Life Lab will combine Intel's supercomputing expertise with Flanders' extensive expertise in life sciences and biotechnology. The objective of the collaboration is to create new supercomputer solutions and generate breakthroughs in life sciences and biotechnology.

High performance computing can lead to new insights and breakthroughs in life sciences and biotechnology. As a result, the use of supercomputers will become as strategically vital as lab research. In the development of medical supercomputers, close collaboration with specialists in the field is becoming ever more important since this allows the additional computing power to be utilised to maximum advantage. That is why Intel, Janssen Pharmaceutica, imec and five Flemish universities have decided to join forces. During the coming months, Intel, Janssen Pharmaceutica, imec and the Flemish Universities will negotiate in good faith to establish the appropriate agreements in such respect.

The ExaScience Life Lab aims to boost research in the life sciences. Initially, the lab will focus on two fields of application. First, the lab will examine how supercomputers can accelerate the processing of entire genome sequences. Today, such an analysis takes approximately 48 hours, and with the expected explosion of genome data becoming available in the coming years, it is crucial to improve the efficiency of the computing process. A second application area of the ExaScience Life Lab will be to examine the use of computer simulations in the life sciences. Testing hypotheses through computer simulation both cells and tissues instead of through wet-lab testing saves considerable amounts of time and cost associated to lab tests.

The ExaScience Life Lab is conceived as an extension of Intel's ExaScience Lab for High Performance Computing opened at imec in 2010.

"Intel has an extensive network of research laboratories in Europe. Once operational, the ExaScience Life Lab will be our European centre of excellence for high performance computing in the life sciences", says Intel lab manager Luc Provoost. "The intended collaboration with Janssen Pharmaceuticals should enable us to build even more powerful supercomputers. We expect the lab's joint research and development efforts to lead to major breakthroughs in the use of supercomputing for bioscientific applications."

"It is our conviction that the ExaScience Life Lab will act as a catalyst in our aspiration to solve certain critical medical needs through technological innovation", stated Gunaretnam Rajagopal, Janssen Pharmaceutica' Head of computational sciences. "In the future, supercomputing will become a key force behind advances in life sciences."

Flemish Minister of Innovation Ingrid Lieten pointed out that "Flanders enjoys an enviable reputation in the fields of life sciences, biotechnology and high performance computing, with a research-driven industry and highly skilled knowledge workers. The ExaScience Life Lab will stimulate collaboration between various disciplines and between the academic and the corporate world. It will establish Flanders as a leading region for supercomputing in life sciences. To achieve this, the ExaScience Life Lab will work closely with the Flemish Supercomputer Centre."

Luc Van den hove, President and CEO at imec, stated that "We are very excited about this unique collaboration with leading international companies such as Intel and Janssen Pharmaceutica, and with the Flemish universities. I have every confidence that by pooling our resources and expertise, the ExaScience Life Lab will achieve excellent results that will stimulate research and development in the life sciences. I would like to thank the Flemish government and IWT for their financial support to the ExaScience Life Lab. And I am looking forward to a productive and strategic long-term collaboration."

About Intel

Intel, market leader in computer innovation, develops and builds essential technologies used worldwide as the building blocks for computer equipment. More information on Intel is available at and at Intel can also be followed on Twitter:

About Janssen Pharmaceutica NV

Our mission
- The care for patients inspires us, day in, day out.
- The discovery, development and supply of innovative therapeutic solutions for various medical needs is our key mission.
- We aspire to find unique solutions which bring about a breakthrough in the treatment of patients worldwide.
- We help our employees to develop themselves. Their know-how, experience and motivation are the best guarantees for us to continue to be one of the world leaders in health care.

About University Antwerp

University Antwerp is a research university that conducts ground-breaking and innovative research on an international level. Research and education are closely interwoven. Educational innovation is a constant focus and a great deal of effort is invested in the guidance and counselling of our 18,000 students. University Antwerp is not an island: we build bridges to education, industry and society as a whole. With over 5,000 staff, University Antwerp is one of the biggest employers in Antwerp, Flanders' largest city.

About UGhent

Founded in 1817, Ghent University is one of the major universities in the Dutch-speaking region of Europe. A total of 120 departments spread across 11 faculties offer high-quality research-based courses in nearly every scientific discipline. UGhent defines itself as an open, socially committed and pluralistic university with a broad international perspective.

About KU Leuven

KU Leuven (University of Leuven) is a leading European research university dedicated to excellent research, education and service to society. It is a founding member of the League of European Research Universities and has a strong European and international orientation. Its sizeable academic staff conducts basic and applied research in a comprehensive range of disciplines. University Hospitals Leuven, its network of research hospitals, provides high-quality healthcare and develops new therapeutic and diagnostic insights with an emphasis on translational research. The university welcomes more than 50,000 students, of which 13% are international from more than 140 countries. Its doctoral schoolsorganise internationally oriented PhDprogrammes for over 4,000 doctoral students.

About IWT

IWT is the innovation agency of the Flemish government. Its mission is to stimulate innovation by means of economic and societal benefits. IWT supports R&D&I-projects of companies and research institutes based in Flanders, as well as international cooperation.
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