Structure image on a computer (1980)

EMBL: A driving force

At its inception, EMBL was equipped with powerful computing resources deployed in diverse structural biology projects. From this foundation, EMBL rapidly became one of the key research institutes driving computational biology into the modern era.

Server room (1985)

Pioneering biocomputing

The EMBL Nucleotide Database was founded in 1980 followed by the EMBL Biocomputing Programme in 1984. In 1987, four years before the worldwide web was created, EMBL began serving biological data over the internet, following up in 1988 with a fileserver for bioinformatics software. These pioneering achievements were steadily adopted by other institutes around the world.

EMBL-EBI in Hinxton, UK

Expansion and EMBL-EBI

The expanding biocomputing activities rapidly outgrew the Heidelberg site and the Nucleotide Database and many other activities transferred in 1993 to the newly-created European Bioinformatics Institute in Hinxton, near Cambridge. The EMBL-EBI is well established as one of the leading computational biology institutes worldwide.

Computers at use in an experimental lab at EMBL

An active community

Moreover, the role of computers is deeply entrenched in research activities throughout the EMBL sites, with EMBL Heidelberg itself having a large, active bioinformatics community that is unique for the tight integration with experimental research.