Medi-Grid: a Grid for biomedical applications

Berlin 12 September 2005The German Ministry of Education and Research - Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) - has awarded 17 million euro for D-Grid. One of the projects is Medi-Grid. The project will be managed by Telematikplattform für medizinische Forschungsnetze (TMF) and will support medical researches with Grid technology to improve collaboration amongst researchers.

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Advancement in biomedical research is more and more dependent on close collaboration between teams using combinations of large datasets and databases in different locations. In the German Medi-Grid project, Grid technology will be used to create a seamless platform for researchers that is cost-effective and always available. This Grid platform for eScience will be managed by defining policies: who is allowed access to which resources and how much computing time may be used. Access to individual resources is then handled by the Grid software.

In biomedical research, genotypic and phenotypic data in many dimensions is used. Through statistical methods correlations between the data are found and new scientific knowledge is created.

Medi-Grid will provide services to researchers. These Medi-Grid services are built on general Grid services defined by the D-Grid Integration project. Medi-Grid will help develop a community of medical and biomedical researchers and IT specialists in Germany. The community will exchange experience in using the Grid and help in the creation of new ideas and applications.

The German Telematics Platform (TMF) will play an important role in managing this community of medical Grid users. There will also be a strong relation with the "Nationalen Genomforschungsnetz" (NGFN), and several other competence networks. Through these networks there is also a relation with patient care and other telamic projects.

The Medi-Grid project will focus on three areas:

  • Image processing;
  • Biomedical Informatics;
  • Clinical research.

These three areas are supported by four methodological modules:

  • Middleware;
  • Ontology tools;
  • Resource fusion;
  • eScience

Two parallel processes will be started that are designed to strenghten each other: a stepwise introduction and building of prototypes of the Grid; and a community driven institutionalised learning effort and programme. This should lead to early convergence in experience and synergy in activities.

This very practical approach and the co-operation model used is expected to lead to an efficient useful medical Grid in Germany that is economically viable.


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