Innovation: Computer chips could hold laboratories of the future

The laboratories of the future may lie in a microchip the size of a little fingernail. This is the focus of a partnership Novozymes has entered into with the IT company Atomistix concerning the development of a computer program.

The aim of the program is to change the way in which researchers work, thereby shortening the lifecycle of products from when they are discovered to when they are offered to Novozymes’ customers.

"This software, which is based on calculations from the field of quantum mechanics, makes it possible to envisage a situation 10-15 years into the future where we will no longer need to carry out experiments with enzymes, and our laboratories will exist primarily on a computer chip," explains Per Falholt, CSO of Novozymes.

"The partnership is still in the start-up phase, but the prospects are exciting. There is no doubt that it is very early days for this type of research, and we probably shouldn’t expect to see any results in the short term. This form of research is taking us into as yet uncharted territory, and there is also the risk that the project will come to nothing, but as a leading biotech company we have to give it a shot," he says.

Partnership between two leading companies

The partnership between Atomistix and Novozymes combines the two companies’ unique technology and competence.

"There are only a small number of technologies where we in Denmark lead the field, but enzyme development and software based on calculations from the field of quantum mechanics are two of them. So it makes sense to combine our strengths in an attempt to gear our technology to the future," he explains.