Optalysys has partnered with The Earlham Institute (formerly The Genome Analysis Centre) to create a Genetic Search System through a 27 month project that has successfully been awarded £0.5m from government body Innovate UK.


To produce a working Genetic Search System prototype (GENESYS™ v0.9) for The Earlham Institute (formerly The Genome Analysis Centre) to perform sequence searches of metagenomic reads sequenced from the Human Microbiome Project Mock Community against a database consisting of 20 bacterial genomes totalling 64+ million base pairs


  • A system at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 7 on NASA’s scale for technology product maturity (working system in a real-world environment)
  • 95% energy savings and 20x faster processing:
  • Replaces the need to use The Earlham Institute’s existing HPC architecture for these searches


  • Successfully awarded a £0.5m grant from UK government body Innovate UK – see press release
  • Started 1 June 2015
  • Presented Optalysys’s third generation prototype and an overview of the GENESYS project to 60 bioinformaticians on 5th November 2015 (see press release and video)
  • Jointly presented Optalysys’s fourth generation prototype with the Earlham Institute at the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology (AGBT) conference in Florida on 15th February 2017 – read more.
  • The fifth generation prototype mechanical and optical components were integrated and presented in June 2017 at the Earlham Institute site situated in Norwich, ahead of the optical system being paired with the bespoke electronics in July.
    August 2017 will see the ‘Genome 10K & Genome Science Conference 2017’ commence at the Earlham Institute, where the fifth generation system will be presented in a demonstration at the four day event.
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