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International Manufacturers Respond to NCHC in Combatting Pandemic QIAGEN, SCM, and MongoDB Join with Taiwan Supercomputer to Speed up Anti-COVID R&D

As the world has been barraged by new COVID-19 variants, NARLabs' National Center for High‑Performance Computing (NCHC) under the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) launched the "Anti-Pandemic Technology 2.0" project in early June to aid Taiwan in research and development of more effective COVID-19 analysis and detection methods, and in late June partnered with Illumina, a global leader in gene sequencing, to pROVide free virus sequence analysis. With the assistance of MOST, QIAGEN, a leader in life science technology and molecular diagnostics; SCM, a major manufacturer of computational chemistry software; and MongoDB, an open-source database developer, officially joined the "Anti-Pandemic Technology 2.0" project on July 15th. Their efforts, combined with the high-speed computing equipment of the NCHC, can pROVide an even better environment for COVID-19-related analyses and pharmaceutical R&D in Taiwan through the project.

Services for the new anti-pandemic project will be pROVided until December 31, 2021 and include the release of QIAGEN's gene sequencing data analysis platform, CLC Genomics Workbench, and pathway analysis software, Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA), which will be available on the NCHC's platform at no charge. This software can help to quickly identify viral mutations and analyze the biological pathways of viral infection in humans. IPA contains millions of biological datasets for genes, disease, and molecular regulation methods. Analyzed genetic data can be compared using the software's biological regulation pathway database, pROViding researchers with further understanding of the mechanisms of infection and molecular regulation from vaccination.

SCM's Amsterdam Modeling Suite (AMS) software, on the other hand, is used to aid in pharmaceutical R&D and simulation. The integrated graphical user interface, paired with the NCHC's powerful computing modules, enables flexible application in systems simulation at every scale. For example, it can simulate the effects of different solvents on active drugs to locate the most expandable cocrystal structures, excipients, and extraction solvents, and with the module's spectral calculations, the molecular composition of drugs can be quickly determined, significantly reducing the time and cost of experiments. In addition, AMS can pROVide assistance in R&D related to biomedical materials.

The NCHC and Taiwan Web Service Corporation will also collaborate with MongoDB, a universal database platform, to pROVide anti-pandemic technology teams with 10 free MongoDB M1-level services on Taiwan Computing Cloud (TWCC) and comprehensive MongoDB database technology training and consulting services, including the opportunity to participate in quarterly face-to-face consultation with experts, MongoDB University online courses, and full subsidies for MongoDB certification. MongoDB's NoSQL database offers high-performance and scalable handling and not only pROVides a cloud database, but also helps cultivate developers' expertise, creating even more benefits.

Since the "Anti-Pandemic Technology 2.0" project call for proposals opened in early June, over 50 submissions from all types of applicants have been received. NCHC Director-General Shepherd Shi stated that QIAGEN, SCM, and MongoDB are exemplary in their fields of expertise internationally, and with their participation, they will once again contribute to transnational cooperation and public-private collaboration with technology in combatting the pandemic and post-pandemic challenges. The NCHC will also comply with MOST's guidelines and continue to link international resources to assist various sectors, hospitals, and research centers with science and technology to pROVide even greater research resources for Taiwan during the pandemic.