Indiana University and Technische Universität Dresden collaborate on improved life sciences data transfer

Dresden 19 June 2009Facilitating greater levels of collaboration between scientists and medical researchers in Europe and the United States is the goal of an announcement by information technology experts from Technische Universität Dresden (TUD), Germany and Indiana University (IU). The formal agreement of friendship and co-operation between the two universities will impact joint research in high performance computing and informatics.


The first collaborative project between TUD and IU involves the development of new approaches to biological data set management and trans-Atlantic data transfer. As part of the new agreement, IU and TUD will collaboratively seek funding in both the United States and the European Union in order to advance their work on data architectures.

Partners in the agreement include the Center for Information Services and High Performance Computing (ZIH) at TUD and the Pervasive Technology Institute (PTI), and School of Informatics at IU.

"This partnership formalizes a longstanding friendship and will enable us to be more effective in innovation to support a variety of research fields", stated ZIH Director, Wolfgang Nagel.

"IU and PTI are doing work related to data management that holds significant value both within the state of Indiana and internationally", stated Craig Stewart, executive director of PTI. "In ZIH, we have an international partner that complements IU's strengths and allows us to be even stronger and more ambitious in our research efforts."

Announcement of the agreement comes as IU technologists are visiting Dresden, Germany to work with ZIH on a project to optimize trans-Atlantic data transfers between Germany and the United States using IU's high performance data storage system, the Data Capacitor. Together, the international team is developing new approaches to managing data sets, with special emphasis on those from the biological sciences.

"Effective trans-Atlantic data transfer is a significant challenge that we are working to address collaboratively using the Data Capacitor", stated Stephen Simms, Data Capacitor project lead from IU. "Having the ability to quickly access very large data sets across the Atlantic greatly expands the potential for successful international research collaboration and new scientific and medical discoveries."

IU and ZIH have a long history of collaboration, including winning together three major computing challenge awards at the international SuperComputing conference sponsored by the Association of Computing Machinery. The most recent victory was in 2008, when a team made up of informatics students from the PTI Open Systems Lab and students from TUD won a competition to most effectively run a set of scientific computer applications on a small supercomputer cluster. This new formal agreement grew out of a visit by Craig Stewart to ZIH as a Fulbright Senior Scholar in 2006.

The Center for Information Services and High Performance Computing (ZIH) is a central scientific unit of the Technische Universität Dresden with a broad spectrum of services and research competencies. It is responsible for the communication infrastructure of the university and operates the central information technology servers and services. In addition, with its interdisciplinary orientation, ZIH supports other departments and institutions in their research and education for all matters related to information technology and computer science.

Pervasive Technology Institute (PTI) at Indiana University is a world-class organisation dedicated to the development and delivery of innovative information technology to advance research, education, industry, and society. Supported in part by a $15 million grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc., PTI is built upon a spirit of collaboration and brings together researchers and technologists from a range of disciplines and organisations, including the School of Informatics, the Maurer School of Law, and University Information Technology Services at Indiana University.

Source: Indiana University

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