CLIMB-COVID: Cloud Infrastructure to Support the UK’s Covid-19 Response

Radoslaw Poplawski and Nick Loman, University of Birmingham

In March 2020, a partnership of academic laboratories and public health agencies launched COG-UK, a nationwide distributed genome sequencing project in order to monitor the evolution of SARS-CoV-2. In order to integrate, store, process and analyse this genomics data stream we deployed CLIMB-COVID on the UKRI-funded CLIMB cloud platform, working with the University of Birmingham’s BEAR project. This project has so far processed over 2 million viral genome sequences in the UK, and contributed to the discovery and detection of important new variants of SARS-CoV-2. In this talk we will describe the development and deployment of the hardware and software elements of the CLIMB-COVID platform and discuss some of the scaling challenges that were faced along the way, as well as describe some of the key scientific and public health outputs that have been generated by this unique surveillance dataset.

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