As part of the agreement, Cisco is providing a $2.1 million contribution to McMaster. The contribution includes $1.6 million over eight years to establish a Professorship in Integrated Health Biosystems, as well as $500,000 over five years to establish a Research Chair in Bioinformatics.
The Research Chair in Bioinformatics will collaborate on a programme in Integrated Health Biosystems, the aim of which will be to bridge the existing gulf between data-intensive areas of biomedical research and health care by integrating diverse biological datasets with clinical and environmental data.
The Professorship in Integrated Health Biosystems will help to establish a Cloud-based computational infrastructure designed to manage, analyze, integrate and distribute the vast amounts of data resulting from biomedical research, clinical trials, and patient feedback.
Current research initiatives at the university tend to store data in separate databases, accessed primarily by the original research team and seldom shared across different studies. By creating one simple Cloud-based infrastructure to both house research data and provide high performance analysis, multiple Faculties at McMaster will have easy access to technology resources, and be able to share data and collaborate for a more comprehensive delivery of results. In the future, this "research Cloud" could serve multiple institutions and research facilities.
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Dr. Patrick Deane, president and vice-chancellor, McMaster University, stated: "The significance of this relationship with Cisco is enormous. We're home to some of the world's leading researchers who continue to make discoveries through novel approaches and applications. The Chair in Bioinformatics and the Professorship in Biosystems will allow us to increase our research capacity and capture the value of the exponentially increasing volumes of data generated by our researchers. This investment will give us the much needed infrastructure to share our information with our local, national and global partners."
Nitin Kawale, president, Cisco Canada, stated: "Living in an increasingly connected world brings certain challenges to researchers in terms of managing vast amounts of data and making it easily accessible to the right people for maximum benefit. Cisco and McMaster both realize that this challenge can be turned into a fantastic opportunity to not only improve the way this data is managed, but to also analyze how people's connection to others and to devices continues to evolve. This innovative project has the potential to transform the way academic research is conducted in Canada and throughout the world."