Qarnot and the Imagine Institute start collaborations to optimize computing power and accelerate research against genetic diseases

Each year, Qarnot chooses a great cause by providing free computing power to associations or research laboratories. In 2021, Qarnot has chosen to support Institut Imagine, the first research, teaching and care center dedicated to genetic diseases, on the campus of the Necker-Enfants malades Hospital. Through this partnership and by offering low-carbon high-performance computing, Qarnot is leveraging one of its areas of expertise in HPC: bioinformatics.

Published on 18.10.2021


For its research on genetic diseases, Institut Imagine uses large quantities of high-performance calculations. These help, for example, to detect possible correlations between variations in DNA and the development of rare genetic diseases. For Imagine, the challenge is to achieve convincing results while reducing its carbon footprint. With this in mind, Qarnot and Imagine have been looking at future projects.

A series of calculations was launched in the summer of 2021 to assess possible synergies and Qarnot's ability to meet the technical challenges required by Imagine. Qarnot has made available a hundred high-performance processors, whose results have been very convincing over the first 300,000 calculations. This test was encouraging in two ways. Thanks to the optimization of the calculations, the execution time was considerably reduced. In addition, thanks to Qarnot's innovative heat recovery model, the carbon footprint equivalent to the calculations performed was reduced by 90% compared to a conventional data center.

In 2020, Qarnot dedicated its annual major cause to medical research against Covid-19. By providing millions of hours of computation for molecular simulations performed in partnership with UC Berkeley, for the Folding@home project, Qarnot was the first private French contributor to this initiative. With the 300,000 calculations performed for the Imagine Institute, Qarnot has taken up a new technical challenge, and proves its ability to extend its field of expertise to new areas of high-performance computing, particularly in the medical sector.

"We are very proud to contribute to the indispensable work of Institut Imagine. The objectives set with Imagine are ambitious! This Great Cause 2021 will be full of meaning and is close to our hearts, and we will make a contribution that corresponds to the values of the company. Our teams are eager to participate in this technical, scientific and environmental challenge", says Paul Benoit, President and co-founder of the company.

"We are delighted with this virtuous collaboration between Qarnot and Imagine on several levels. The reduction in calculation time that will be achieved thanks to the Qarnot teams is essential to accelerate research, make a diagnosis in sick children, and thus change the lives of families affected by genetic diseases. These faster, optimized, and low-carbon calculations are in line with this ambition, as well as with the ambition to reduce our environmental impact as much as possible, as part of a societal responsibility approach", explains Prof. Stanislas Lyonnet, Director of Institut Imagine.

After this first successful project, Qarnot and Institut Imagine have agreed to extend their joint work and have announced a new collaboration in the fall of 2021!