The CLIMB database provides COG-UK with vital computing infrastructure and bioinformatics analysis

What is CLIMB?

Cloud Infrastructure for Microbial Bioinformatics (CLIMB) was launched in 2014, supported by a grant from the Medical Research Council (MRC) to meet the needs of medical microbiologists handling vast amounts of data coming from high-throughput genomics. It is an open, cloud-based computing infrastructure for developing and sharing datasets and bioinformatics software, tools and methods to interpret ‘big data’.

CLIMB represents a partnership between the Universities of Bath, Birmingham, Cardiff, Leicester, Swansea and Warwick, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Quadram Institute Bioscience.

How has CLIMB supported the COG-UK consortium?

After the UK Government and Chief Scientific Adviser announced a £20 million initiative to map how COVID-19 spreads and evolves on March 23rd 2020 — the COG-UK consortium — CLIMB’s pre-existing infrastructure and expertise allowed the consortium to launch quickly and deliver rapid genome sequencing data of SARS-CoV-2.

Insights from these data have informed national decision-making of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) as well as the local public health level, including monitoring outbreaks in real-time.

A special thanks to a dedicated team

COG-UK would like to give a special thanks to Dr Sam Nicholls, Radoslaw Poplawski, and Simon Thompson from the University of Birmingham, and Dr Matt Bull and Dr Christine Kitchen from the University of Cardiff for their continued hard work on the CLIMB project and support in hosting the equipment.

Learn more about CLIMB in our blog.