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Earlham Institute tackles big data crop research using financial analytics platform

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Kx, a US-based supplier of high-performance data management and analytics technology, has been chosen by Earlham Institute (EI), UK, as its technology partner for a new project to accelerate research into bioinformatics and promote a sustainable bio-economy. 

Ji Zhou, project leader, and his colleagues at EI will develop and embed machine-learning algorithms, including deep learning techniques, in Kx’s platform to create predictive models for studying crop growth patterns and tactics for agriculture. The models will incorporate factors such as environmental stress and crop response.

Tim Stitt, head of scientific computing at EI, commented: ‘For EI to remain at the forefront of bioscience research it is imperative that we continue to partner with the world’s leading technology providers. I’m therefore delighted to collaborate with Kx, as we continue to explore new technologies for addressing the challenges of ever-increasing data volumes. Leveraging the high-performance data processing capabilities of Kx’s technology, perfected in the financial sector over more than 20 years, makes for a truly exciting and innovative relationship.’

Kx has more than 20 years’ experience in delivering high-speed, big data analytics in the world’s major financial centres and this expertise will now be used by EI in a completely new approach to the analytical processing of living systems. In the pharmaceutical and life sciences sectors, Kx is helping organisations realise the value that can be derived from their datasets.

Brian Conlon, Kx chief executive officer, said: ‘We are excited to be working with the Earlham Institute on such an innovative project. As organisations are facing the immense challenges of big omics data, we believe that utilising the latest stream-processing and in-memory computing technology from Kx will allow future commercial advantage to be generated from consuming and analysing real-time datasets.’