Project: GENESYS

Optalysys partnered with The Earlham Institute to create a Genetic Search System through a two and a half year project that was successfully awarded £0.5m from government body Innovate UK

“Optalysys is the only company with the proven technology and expertise to realise our vision and we are excited to be in partnership with them”

Dr Tim Stitt, Head of Scientific Computing, Earlham Institute


To produce a working Genetic Search System prototype for The Earlham Institute (formerly The Genome Analysis Centre) to perform sequence searches of metagenomic reads sequenced from the Human Microbiome Project Mock Community against a database consisting of 20 bacterial genomes totalling 64+ million base pairs


  • A system at Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 7 on NASA’s scale for technology product maturity (working system in a real-world environment)

  • 90% energy savings and 20x faster processing


Project Timeline

  • Started 1 June 2015 and completed Dec 2017

  • Presented Optalysys’s third generation prototype and an overview of the GENESYS project to 60 bioinformaticians on 5th November 2015 – see video

  • Jointly presented Optalysys’s fourth generation prototype with the Earlham Institute at the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology (AGBT) conference in Florida on 15th February 2017

  • The fifth generation prototype system was demonstrated in August 2017 at the ‘Genome 10K & Genome Science Conference 2017’ and the accuracy results were presented by Dr Dan Mapleson from the Earlham Institute – see video