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FORINFRA-Nasj.sats. forskn.infrastrukt

The Norwegian Sequencing Centre - Phase II

Awarded: NOK 41.0 mill.

The Norwegian Sequencing Center (NSC https://www.sequencing.uio.no) is a national core facility with two equal partners, the University of Oslo and Oslo University Hospital (OUS). NSC has provided state-of-the-art sequencing since 2009 and, through support from NFR, UiO and OUS, has invested heavily in both sequencing instruments and supporting infrastructure. NSC offers both Illumina short-read and PacBio long-reads technologies and has the largest and most diverse instrument fleet of all facilities that provide High Throughput Sequencing (HTS) services in Norway. This allows NSC to offer services that meet the needs of most users. We have a staff of highly competent employees at NSC, several have been involved since 2009. In NSC phase II, additional competent personnel were hired. Experience gained over the years, continuous updating of methodology and technology platforms as well as frequent participation in user meetings and conferences means that we can contribute with advice, planning of new projects and handling of all types of tests. NSC is currently a partner in the national consortium Norwegian Consortium for Sequencing and Personalized Medicine (NorSeq). A recent example of our competence and flexibility is that NSC was at very short notice able to set up whole genome sequencing of SARS-Cov-2 (Covid19) at the request of the National Institute of Public Health. We are well equipped to carry out large projects in both medical and non-medical genomics. The high-capacity instrument NovaSeq 6000 (Illumina) means that we have an extreme capacity for whole genomes, transcriptomes and metagenomes. NSC (OUS) is today the largest professional environment in Norway within clinical diagnostics. Major projects in which NSC has contributed include collaboration with the cancer registry (small RNAs), metagenomic sequencing of feces in dogs, the Legacy of Nansen (marine organisms), the Aqua Genome project and a number of reference genomes of various species of vertebrates, invertebrates, plants and mushroom. Our expertise in whole genome has led to a close collaboration with SciLife Lab (Sweden) Darwin Tree of Life (UK) and the worldwide projects Vertebrate Genome Project and Earth BioGenome Project.

The Norwegian Sequencing Centre (NSC) has been operating as a national core facility for high-throughput DNA sequencing (HTS) since 2009. The two partners behind NSC - Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary synthesis (CEES) and Dept. of Medical Genetics ( DMG) - represent leading scientific environments within biology and medical genetics, respectively, and are both heavily involved in numerous projects using HTS. We have users from all over Norway as well as internationally - from both public and private sector. We have experienced a huge increase in projects and users at NSC, and at present our instrumentation, particularly the Illumina machines, are run to the limits of their capacity. In Phase II, we will take NSC to the next level, increasing the capacity and extending our services to the level needed to provide "state-of-the-art" services at an internationally competitive level in the years to come. Several large and high profiled sequencing projects, in both biology and medicine, are in the pipeline at NSC. For example, CEES has recently been awarded a significant grant - "The Aqua Genome Project" - from the RCN BIOTEK 2021 programme, where we aim at sequencing one thousand genomes of both cod and salmon. To handle such large-scale projects nationally, it is essential to increase our sequencing capacity by obtaining more equipment, personnel and strengthening our IT infrastructure. In addition to three new Illumina machines, we will implement new, improved sequencing technology. Another important aspect of this application is to extend our services in bioinformatic analysis, frequently a bottleneck for many of our users. Furthermore, in Phase II we will increase our international collaboration and will take the initiative to form a network of leading Scandinavian sequencing centers in order to increase transfer of technology and know-how, as well enabling collaborations on large sequencing projects to the benefit of our users.

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FORINFRA-Nasj.sats. forskn.infrastrukt