Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 February 2020

Abu Dhabi-based Group 42 offers free AI services to coronavirus researchers

The group is offering the use of its supercomputer to researchers who are focusing on developing a vaccine to counter the coronavirus

Group 42, headed by chief executive Peng Xiao, has offered to provide AI services free of charge to researchers studying to counter coronavirus. Ruel Pableo/The National
Group 42, headed by chief executive Peng Xiao, has offered to provide AI services free of charge to researchers studying to counter coronavirus. Ruel Pableo/The National

Group 42, an Abu Dhabi-based artificial intelligence and cloud computing company, announced that it is offering “high-throughput computational and AI services” free of charge to scientific researchers who are working to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

The company said in a statement via state news agency Wam that it is currently inviting international researchers to formulate proposals to use Artemis, the world’s 26th most powerful supercomputer, in any field that contributes solutions to the challenge of the current virus outbreak.

The invite is specifically addressed to researchers interested in rapid vaccine development, where simulation may reduce the development time of a vaccine; researchers developing clinical assessment technologies; researchers developing genomic tools for diagnosis or surveillance of the virus, and researchers mapping and predicting trends in the outbreak.

G42 is already collaborating with local authorities to provide access to advanced diagnostic kits that could detect and prevent the outbreak, it added in a statement in the statement.

"G42 and the UAE wish to show solidarity with the people affected by this outbreak, by making available our powerful computing capacity to contribute towards rapid scientific solutions", said Peng Xiao, chief executive of G42. "This is an open invitation to the international research, and medical communities to join forces as the coronavirus outbreak persists. It is essential for the world to collaborate against this epidemic - and to do it fast."

G42 has been developing a pioneering healthcare and genomics practice. The company is delivering ultra-high throughput sequencing and analysis capabilities for the Abu Dhabi Genome Programme, with partners Oxford Nanopore and BGI.

"In this, as other outbreaks, we have seen the importance of rapid, powerful data analysis, and we commend this outreach by G42,” said Dr. Gordon Sanghera, chief executive of Oxford Nanopore.

“Supporting the nCoV situation is much broader than the sequencing capacity for which we are supporting public health professionals; we commend this call for cooperation across multiple scientific disciplines."

Updated: February 11, 2020 09:01 PM

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