Who got that cash?

July 22, 2005

A project to replace paper notes with digitally stored data about experiments has been awarded additional funding by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

The CombeChem project at Southampton University has been given a £415,000 grant to continue its work on electronic measurement, storage and reuse of information about thousands of chemical compounds.

The project draws on expertise in chemistry, electronics and computer science and aims to make data available to laboratory researchers across the globe through a grid of networked computers.

A "smart lab" that is being created at Southampton will be used to demonstrate how data can be stored and shared immediately.

The facility will have computers instead of lab books, providing instant access to research information while a large database of molecules is being compiled and multiple computer simulations to understand the potential interaction between molecules are carried out.

Jeremy Frey of the School of Chemistry, who is the project's principal investigator, said: "It will allow chemical information to be registered on the web and avoid chemists having to reinvent the wheel."

David De Roure of the School of Electronics and Computer Science added:

"This is a tremendous platform for innovation both in chemistry research and in computer science."

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