At biomedical research centre the Francis Crick Institute, Chief Information Officer Alison Davis has an ambitious, if unusual, definition of true IT success: when a Crick scientist wins a Nobel prize and declares that they couldn't have done it without the IT.
As part of her development of the IT organisation for The Crick, Davis has set up a wholly new scientific computing team. It's what drives her Nobel target. And although she's not there yet, four members of the scientific computing team were named as co-authors on a paper submitted to Cell journal in 2017, in recognition of their support for the coding development of gene analysis "pipelines".
Her technology initiatives have focused on the Crick's research computing platform. During 2017, her team implemented a full off-site backup of the scientific computing infrastructure, to replace a legacy partial backup inherited from the former institutes. This has given the organisation much greater confidence in the resilience of the scientific data. And with some 10PB of data requiring backup, this was not a trivial undertaking. She has also upgraded the scientific computing storage from 3PB to 10PB, and successfully bid for funding to add GPUs to the research computing platform. It's all part of Davis's conception of her Crick role as more than a setup and migration project – her role is really about moving the Crick on to being a world-class institute.