The US medical research agency National Institutes of Health has partnered with Google Cloud for a new initiative that aims to harness the power of commercial cloud computing and provide biomedical researchers access to the most advanced, cost-effective computational infrastructure, tools and services.
The initiative named STRIDES (Science and Technology Research Infrastructure for Discovery, Experimentation, and Sustainability) will reduce economic and technological barriers to accessing and computing on large biomedical data sets to accelerate biomedical advances.
"NIH is in a unique position to bring together academic and innovation industry partners to create a biomedical data ecosystem that maximizes the use of NIH-supported biomedical research data for the greatest benefit to human health," NIH Principal Deputy Director Lawrence Tabak, said in a statement late on Tuesday.
"The STRIDES Initiative aims to maximize the number of researchers working to provide the greatest number of solutions to advancing health and reducing the burden of disease," he added.
The partnership with Google creates a cost-efficient framework for NIH researchers, as well as researchers at more than 2,500 academic institutions across the nation receiving NIH support, to make use of Google Cloud's storage, computing, and machine learning technologies.
In addition, it will enable the establishment of training programmes for researchers at NIH-funded institutions to use Google Cloud Platform, the statement said.
"Today, we are announcing a partnership with the National Institutes of Health to make it easier to access and analyse large biomedical data sets, which we believe will accelerate efforts to find treatments and cures for disease," said Diane Greene, CEO at Google Cloud.
NIH's initial efforts will focus on making NIH high-value data sets more accessible through the Cloud, leveraging partnerships to take advantage of data-related innovations such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, and experimenting with new ways to optimise technology-intensive research.
"Through our partnership with NIH... we are making it easier for scientists and physicians to access and garner insights from NIH-funded data sets with appropriate privacy protections, which will ultimately accelerate biomedical research progress toward finding treatments and cures for the most devastating diseases of our time," explained Gregory Moore, Vice President-Healthcare, Google Cloud.