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Ginkgo & Google Cloud: When Biology Meets AI in a Groundbreaking Alliance

Funding & Investments
Emerging Technologies
August 29, 2023

Today, Ginkgo Bioworks, a frontrunner in the domain of cell programming and biosecurity, and Google Cloud unveiled their ambitious five-year cloud and AI collaboration. This strategic partnership is all set to empower Ginkgo to forge ahead in devising AI-driven tools for biology and biosecurity.

This collaboration will see Ginkgo harnessing Google Cloud's Vertex AI platform to pioneer cutting-edge large language models (LLMs) in areas like genomics, protein function, and synthetic biology. Such endeavors will inevitably catalyze innovation and groundbreaking discoveries across varied sectors, encompassing drug development, agriculture, industrial manufacturing, and, notably, biosecurity.

Ginkgo's CEO, Jason Kelly, underscored the significance of this partnership, stating, "We believe that by partnering with Google Cloud, Ginkgo can supercharge our mission to make biology easier to engineer. The most pressing challenges of our generation require biological solutions, and we must figure out how to better leverage our collective capabilities and move faster."

Ginkgo's reputation is already notable in the biotech arena. Their collaborations with giants like Bayer, Biogen, and Merck, coupled with their pivotal role in the US response to the COVID-19 pandemic, underscore their commitment and capability. Yet, this partnership with Google Cloud promises to propel Ginkgo to even greater heights.

"Google Cloud sees significant potential in the synergy between AI and biotechnology and the transformative impact it can have on the world," echoed Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud. This alliance with Ginkgo is a testament to their faith in the potential of AI to revolutionize our comprehension of biology.

What's on the Horizon for Ginkgo and Google Cloud?

The collaboration brings forth a plethora of promising ventures:

  1. Large Language Models for Biological Engineering: Harnessing Google Cloud's Vertex AI and Ginkgo's vast Codebase, the duo aims to craft and refine foundation and task-specific models to address core challenges in biological engineering.
  2. Advanced Infrastructure: Google Cloud's next-gen computing assets, especially Tensor Processing Units (TPUs), will be pivotal in developing these new models.
  3. Generative AI Enterprise Search: Google Cloud's Enterprise Search technology will play a crucial role, given Ginkgo's ever-expanding Codebase.
  4. Central Data Repositories: Ginkgo's vast data will benefit immensely from Google Cloud's BigQuery tech, offering secure, streamlined data analysis and sharing.
  5. Public Data Aggregation: Ginkgo's commitment to biosecurity sees them as the top private contributor of SARS-CoV-2 genetic sequences to GISAID in the US, emphasizing the need for improved public databases.

The selection of Google Cloud's Vertex AI by Ginkgo was driven by its capacity to scale efficiently, manage heavy-duty tasks, and offer superior data security—a paramount concern in the biotech industry.

Both companies will delve deeper into this exciting partnership at Google Cloud Next, slated for August 29 - 31, 2023, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.

For those keen on the biotech landscape, this collaboration underscores a future where AI and biology coalesce, promising advancements that were once the stuff of science fiction.

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