I can now reveal a very exciting development:
Guildford and Cambridge, UK, May 29, 2009 - IDBS, a leading provider of innovative data management solutions for research science, announces the formation of a strategic relationship with the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge. The Department has selected IDBS' E-WorkBook as its Chemistry Electronic Laboratory Notebook and the two organizations have begun a collaborative R&D initiative which will provide both organizations with significant cheminformatics assets and opportunities.
The Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge will deploy IDBS' E-WorkBook and IDBS' suite of chemistry technologies across its broad spectrum of research areas and will use the system as a platform for many of its ongoing national, and international collaborative programmes. IDBS and the Department of Chemistry will also set up a joint research and development effort which will play a significant role in bringing many of the most promising new cheminformatics technologies to the market through IDBS products.
The Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge is an internationally renowned centre of excellence in chemistry and chemical computing. It is a leader in semantic chemistry technologies and in the use and development of Chemical Mark-Up Language (CML), which represents the emerging global lexicon of chemical computing. The use and ongoing development of IDBS' chemical technology platform through this R&D collaboration will encompass many of these important new areas, including new approaches to structure authoring, drawing and representation, annotation, context-rich chemical ontologies, polymer support and the application of the electronic workbook environment as a tool to enhance research excellence.
Neil Kipling, founder and CEO of IDBS said: "This comprehensive, long-term relationship with the University of Cambridge Department of Chemistry proves the existing strength of the E-WorkBook platform for chemistry and offers unparalleled potential for development of our chemistry technologies for the future. We are delighted to be chosen as the data management platform for the Department and to be working so closely with world leaders in cheminformatics."
Professor Steven Ley, CBE, FRS, said of the relationship: "The professional management of chemical information is now essential in a modern laboratory. This partnership will provide the environment whereby experimental data is captured and retained in such a way that it can be searched electronically by its chemical context. It provides the opportunity to apply advanced chemical informatics methods, many of which have been developed in this laboratory, to extract chemical information. IDBS were chosen as a partner not only for the power and functionality of their software and flexibility to integrate with utilities developed at Cambridge, but also their willingness to cooperate in the development of novel solutions to underpin chemistry research programmes."
There is a great deal I would like to say but this is a really important development for our group, the Unilever Centre and the Department of Chemistry. We've all realised that chemical information has to be put on a sound basis and to do that – including sustainability and engineering – requires the sort of commitment and expertise found in the commercial sector. So the Department spent time and effort to find the appropriate solution for their needs. The tie-up with IDBS has benefits for both parties. Our role, in academia, should be to try out radically new ideas, but we also need day-to-day management of the data and process.
I'll be writing more about this later – but for now I am looking forward to our visit tomorrow to Guildford to meet our new collaborators and explore what we shall take forward.
In our CLARION proposal (JISC funded) we specifically designed an interface with a – then metasyntactic – electronic laboratory notebook provider. We can now develop the project so that we can show the full power of taking chemical and other information from the bench to a repository which – in appropriate time – will make much more science publicly available.