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updated 1:22 PM BST, Jul 4, 2014
Technology and life sciences news from the Cambridge cluster

Government confirms £75m commitment to make Cambridge international bioinformatics nerve centre

East Wing and commissioned artwork 'StarballThe government has confirmed its pledge to invest £75m into a new bioinformatics hub at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory's European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), Hinxton, that can deal with the mass of data pouring out of genetics research centre's worldwide.

As reported in Cabume, the government first earmarked the money in February this year, funding to make the EMBL-EBI the international nerve centre of the ELIXIR network, a pan-European effort to safeguard and foster data generated in life-science experiments.

The money will go on a new facility for biological data-storage to support life sciences research and its translation as well as a new technical hub there that will house 200 staff.

The funding will come from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills' Large Facilities Capital Fund and was announced earlier today as part of the government's wider life sciences commitment, which included a £180m catalyst fund of which £90m had previously been announced.

In an official EMBL-EBI statement, the Institute's director and coordinator of the preparatory phase of ELIXIR (funded under the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme), Professor Janet Thornton said: "This commitment from the UK Government to ELIXIR emphasises the growing importance of biological information to every citizen.

"This funding puts Europe in a uniquely strong position to solve some of society's most pressing problems, with the UK right in the middle of the action. In the future we expect similar commitments from ELIXIR's members around Europe to build their nodes."