When Open Innovation breaks computing limits and ROI

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When Open Innovation breaks computing limits and ROI

Open Innovation ROI in medical Science

Xerox Realbusiness blog published a stunning article yesterday on the Open Innovation ROI in medical science.

They relate how the Harvard Medical School (HMS) used Open Innovation and a developpers’ contest to dramatically improve gene sequencing performance.

The MegaBLAST algorithm from the National Center of Biotechnology Informatics allows to measure the differences between two genes, it had previously processed 100,000 sequences in 15,622 seconds (260.4 hours).

HMS needed to improve this by orders of magnitude to conduct its own research.

They initially apponted a person during one year ($120k) devoted to this topic and could lower the processinf time to 2,845 seconds or  x5.5 better. A great but unsufficient improvement.

Then, they organized an open contest with a $6000 prize. 122 solutions were proposed, the winner could reduce the computing time to 16 seconds, or 1000x faster than the MegaBLAST algorithm!

This gives an exemple of the open innovation ROI :

  • internal development =  120 000 USD for a x5.5 improvement = x0.00005/USD
  • open innovation = 6 000 USD for x1000 = x0.17/USD or 3000 times more efficient.

This is an extreme case of course but inspiring for anyone with similar challenges, isn’t it ?

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