Public Release: 

BGI opens genome research center in Europe

Aiming to accelerate the development of genomic research and transformation of scientific achievements

BGI Shenzhen

February 10th, 2012, Copenhagen, Denmark, and Shenzhen, China - BGI, the world's largest genomics organization, today opens its first European Genome Research Center located in Copenhagen Bio Science Park (COBIS). This research center is about 1,200 square meters and equipped with 10 Illumina HiSeq 2000 sequencers. The center aims to establish collaborations to better accelerate the innovation and development of genomics research and applications in health care, agriculture, bioenergy and other related areas in Europe.

The opening ceremony of the genome research center was held at the Bio-center in University of Copenhagen today. It was attended by Pia Olsen Dyhr, Minister of Trade and Investments, Mr. Gu Hui, Charge d'affaire from Chinese Embassy, Professor Huanming Yang, Co-founder and Chairman of BGI, Professor Thomas Bjørnholm, Vice Chancellor of University of Copenhagen and approximately 120 guests from leading European research centers, universities and biotech industries.

Ning Li, Director of BGI Europe, welcomed the guests and expressed his appreciation to friends and supporters who have contributed to the successful opening of the Genome Research Center in COBIS. He noted, "Our primary mission of this research center is to provide BGI´s world-class expertise and infrastructure for the European researchers in genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics and other related areas. The opening of the Genome Research Center will add immense value on science advancement and application for both BGI Europe and Denmark. I believe this center also will strive to cultivate joint collaborations between China and Europe."

Minister Pia Olsen Dyhr was delighted to see the success of this event, and she said, "I am pleased that BGI has invested in Denmark and thereby contributed to creating new jobs here. We need to further increase cooperation with China, which is why I later this month will be visiting China. It is very positive that foreign investors like BGI find Denmark attractive. I hope that the presence by organization like BGI will help open the eyes to other foreign investors, especially Chinese investors."

Vice Chancellor Thomas Bjørnholm from University of Copenhagen is also pleased to see the genome research center settling at Copenhagen. He said, "According to Chinese astrology, we entered the year of the dragon just a few weeks ago. When the dragon arrives, it means that big things occur. Now BGI's first European genome research center is born, and we can expect something big. Both the facilities and the Danish and international scientists behind the center are state-of-the-art. The vision is to create the best facilities in the fields of genomics and bioinformatics, so that we have an opportunity to utilize knowledge on genomics and better Denmark's possibilities of preventing and curing diseases. We hope that it will be possible, for example, to develop a vaccine against cancer."

BGI Chairman Huanming Yang has expressed his appreciation to the Danish government and the scientific partner in Denmark. He said, "Nothing would have been made possible by BGI without the full understanding, continuous encouragement and firm support from our supervisors, colleagues and friends in both the academic and industrial communities in Denmark since the very beginning until now. BGI's leaders and staff have been successively educated and trained in Denmark from the past to present. It is the strong tie between BGI and Denmark both culturally and scientifically which led BGI's choice to establish the first European Genome Research Center of BGI in Copenhagen, Denmark."

According to Ning Li, the genome research center grants from the Danish National Advanced Technology Foundation (HTF). Two integrated projects will be initiated in this center, one is to identify previously unknown cancer pathogens that will lead to the development and patenting of commercial vaccines and the other is to establish a unique catalogue of the millions of variations in Dane's DNA by finishing 1% Dane's Genome Sequencing. The genome atlas will serve as the foundation for new studies that will cast light on the hereditary causes for a number of common diseases, as well as the treatment and prevention.

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About BGI

BGI was founded in Beijing, China on September 9th, 1999 with the mission of being a premier scientific partner to the global research community. The goal of BGI is to make leading-edge genomic science highly accessible through its investment in infrastructure that leverages the best available technology, economies of scale, and expert bioinformatics resources. BGI, and its affiliates, BGI Americas and BGI Europe, have established partnerships and collaborations with leading academic and government research institutions as well as global biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, supporting a variety of disease, agricultural, environmental, and related applications.

BGI has established a proven track record of excellence, delivering results with high efficiency and accuracy for innovative, high-profile research which has generated over 170 publications in top-tier journals such as Nature and Science. These accomplishments include sequencing one percent of the human genome for the International Human Genome Project, contributing 10 percent to the International Human HapMap Project, carrying out research to combat SARS and German deadly E. coli, playing a key role in the Sino-British Chicken Genome Project, and completing the sequence of the rice genome, the silkworm genome, the first Asian diploid genome, the potato genome, and, most recently, 1000 genomes and human Gut metagenome.

For more information about BGI, please visit www.genomics.cn.

About University of Copenhagen

With over 37,000 students and more than 7,000 employees, the University of Copenhagen is the largest institution of research and education in Denmark. The purpose of the University - to quote the University Statute - is to 'conduct research and provide further education to the highest academic level'.

Approximately one hundred different institutes, departments, laboratories, centres, museums, etc., form the nucleus of the University, where professors, lecturers and other academic staff, as well as most of the technical and administrative personnel, carry out their daily work, and where teaching takes place.

These activities take place in various environments ranging from the plant world of the Botanical Gardens, through high-technology laboratories and auditoriums, to the historic buildings and lecture rooms of Frue Plads and other locations.

For more information about University of Copenhagen, please visit www.ku.dk.

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