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What Companies Are Building A Business Around Open Source Bioinformatics?
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14 months ago
Maastricht

Over at the Blue Obelisk eXchange I asked about companies that have a business around open source cheminformatics software: David Bradly wrote up an item on the business model of Open Source, to which I commented that it did not mention anything on scholarly software. This triggers the question, what companies are currently and actively building a business around open source cheminformatics.

Of course, the same question applies to bioinformatics. So: what companies are currently and actively building a business around open source bioinformatics?

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Yes, but that targeting is deliberate. Life sciences is so broad that anything wet lab is included too, and plenty of business going on there...

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@Egon - It would be easier to answer, if the question would be in a wider context, e.g. open source businesses in "life science"

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4.6 years ago
Mary 11k
Boston MA area

When we talk to people about what we are doing, they often say: Oh, you are the RedHat of bioinformatics! That's not entirely true--but we are doing support work around open source projects. It's because we have found that although the software is excellent and useful, training is frequently not part of the package--especially for smaller lab groups and research groups. They just don't have the capacity or funding to do that.

http://www.openhelix.com/

We started doing this in 2003.

We have also done contract software testing (I am a world-class software tester and it's probably my favorite thing to do, actually :) ) and done technical writing for projects. But mostly we focus on training.

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What are the open source tools used within your business mostly?

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Here's our catalog, have a look: http://www.openhelix.com/cgi/tutorials.cgi

I am also aware of other companies that are using open source tools and building additional features around them--are you interested in those too? I was waiting to see if others were going to come in and name more companies, but I can add a few more there.

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24 months ago
Aberdeen, UK

I suppose you could also include the BioTeam. Certainly when I first came across them (we bought one of their Mac OS X iNquiry bioinformatics clusters) they were using a lot of open source software as part of the platform and engaged in a traditional model of selling support and installation services. I'm not too sure what they're doing now, but I know the iNquiry software is going to be opensourced as it is now EOL.

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Yeah, they were going to be one of the ones I would have added.

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6.0 years ago

Eagle Genomics provides genomic data management and integration services using open bioinformatics.

www.eaglegenomics.com/

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The do quote that "If you'd prefer to keep the code private, that's fine too." ... but does not obviously not work if the code is GPL, because they are sharing, and therefore should abide the copyleft...

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6.0 years ago
Pansapiens • 30
AU

UniPro, the company behind the UGENE "IDE for sequence analysis", seem to indicate that they might build a business around it via alternative licensing schemes, although I'm uncertain of the business model.

Also, in the structural bioinformatics field, Schrödinger may now count as 'building a business around open source bioinformatics', since they are now the custodians of the Pymol program. While traditionally they are not an open source company and this is not their core business, they are maintaining the business model that the late Warren DeLano used with DeLano Scientific, providing subscriptions for support.

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Regarding Schrödinger: it is originally in the cheminformatics area, and I very much appreciate seeing them going into the open source arena.

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14 months ago
Liam Thompson • 120
Gothenburg, Sweden

How about http://www.dalkescientific.com/ - Andrew Dalke supports BioPython and build a bioinformatics/cheminformatics business around it

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4.1 years ago
kalina • 0

On Genestack you will find a growing toolbox of genomics applications. These come in three flavors:

1)A large number of these package open source tools that have become the industry standard over the years. + wrappers make underlying tools file format independent.

2)Quality control, differential expression, variant filtering and functional annotation applications combine existing open source tools with Genestack's own technologies to be fast, scalable and format-free.

3)Where an interactive visual analytics approach works best, e.g., genome browsing or variant filtering, Genestack developed their own tools featuring on-the-fly computing, drill-down reports and collaborative shared views.

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I think theres a pretty big difference between companies that wrap opensource tools to turn a profit, and those that contribute to opensource initiatives (by funding them, providing code, etc).

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