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Last week we had the pleasure of joining many of our peers, customers, and partners such as Schneider Electric at the Electrical Review & Data Centre Review Excellence Awards 2022, which celebrated outstanding achievements within the electrical and data centre industries over the past year.

During the last three years, the demands placed on data centres, electrical and critical infrastructure, and indeed the professionals working across these sectors, have accelerated at an unapparelled pace, and the role of technology has been, frankly, instrumental in helping the UK and many other countries across the world return to an almost normal way of life.

Innovations within the realms of life sciences, vaccine identification, genomics and digital biology have, for example, been pivotal to helping humankind overcome the challenges of covid-19.

It was fantastic, therefore, to see our long-term customer Simon Binley, Data Centre Manager for the Wellcome Sanger Institute, win 'Technical Leader of the Year' and see his work recognised within the industry.

Simon is an accomplished data centre manager with over 20 years’ experience in the IT sector. Today he leads a team of professionals providing assured IT services and data availability for the Wellcome Sanger Institute, a world leader genomics discovery, research and understanding.

As one of the most important scientific undertakings of our generation, genomic research has rapidly advanced the ability of health care providers to successfully treat pandemic and endemic conditions including cancer, malaria, cholera and Covid-19.

IT and the data centre are mission critical to this effort, enabling the human genome to be fully sequenced in less than 12 hours, whilst making data publicly available on a 24x7x365 basis to partners including research organisations such as EMBL-EBI, Astrazeneca UK and other pharmaceutical companies.

Further, during the course of the pandemic, the work of the Wellcome Sanger Institute and its partners has been instrumental in both vaccine identification and in sequencing new Covid-19 variants. This work relies on access to real-time data, advanced processing power and high performance computing applications (HPC), much of which is hosted within Europe’s largest genomic data centre – the very facility that Simon oversees.

Indeed, the data centre became critical to life science research efforts and Covid-19 disease prevention. Simon’s role was essentially to ensure 24/7 operational continuity, and he successfully navigated all challenges by working closely with his team, with external engineering partners such as EfficiencyIT, and by using technology as a data-driven enabler.

Furthermore, the primary goal at the Wellcome Sanger Institute is to improve the outcomes of human health and find cures for disease and illness, and the data centre is instrumental in that function. As the Institute continues to remove stranded capacity, improve its PUE and energy efficiency over time, Simon’s team will enable Wellcome Sanger Institute to save significant amounts of cost, in terms of energy usage, and put this directly back into the research.

Overall, he deserved to be recognised for this award as his work not only ensures that world-leading bioinformatics, pharma and genomic organisations have been able to continue with their life-saving research without interruption, but because their outcomes haven continued to save millions of lives across the globe each year.

At EfficiencyIT, we’re proud to have worked with Simon and supported him at the Wellcome Sanger Institute for several years. His work, and the work of the scientists surrounding him is crucial now, and will continue to be as we move forward from Covid. We’re delighted to see him win another key award within the sector.

You can learn more about the role of the data centre, and Simon’s work at the Institute in this video.

About EfficiencyIT

Specialising in edge computing environments, cloud transformation and mission-critical IT solutions, EfficiencyIT (EIT) was borne from the ideals of a like-minded group of individuals who saw the data centre and IT landscape changing dramatically. Today our customers are responsible for some of the most critical technology operations in the world and our mission is to empower them to innovate and to relentlessly support their business objectives by underpinning them with efficient, forward-thinking, digital infrastructure.

Partnered with Schneider Electric, Microsoft, Mimecast and Cisco, we continue to challenge the status quo of what is acceptable versus what is achievable, within traditional data centre and IT infrastructures. #BornEfficient