Biology Dynamics Modeller

Many of the technologies that are developed for purely scientific purposes in pursuit of CERN’s fundamental research mission have great potential to directly impact and benefit society at large.

One such technology that could tackle various global needs is the Biology Dynamics Modeller (BioDynaMo): open source, agent-based, simulation software that was originally designed to simulate the behaviour of billions of cells. Agent-based modelling (ABM) is a powerful methodology for studying complex systems in biology, epidemiology, economics, social sciences, medicine and more.

The main advantage of BioDynaMo compared to other, similar, tools is that it has been heavily optimised to take full advantage of modern (multi-core and GPU) hardware and can greatly reduce simulation time, thus allowing researchers to simulate several scenarios in a reasonable time frame. The BioDynaMo project draws on CERN’s experience in large-scale computing. More specifically, CERN’s experience in running large-scale open source projects and its know-how in code modernisation and hardware acceleration were essential to developing the high-performance simulation engine that forms the core of BioDynaMo.

These features have convinced many labs to switch to running their simulations using BioDynaMo. Moreover, during the recent COVID-19 pandemic, CERN launched a collaboration with the Institute of Global Health of the University of Geneva to adapt BioDynaMo to run simulations on the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus through a

CERN is now raising funds to use BioDynaMo to address three highly relevant societal needs:

The project will also contribute to the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): good health and well-being (SDG 3), industry innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9), reduced inequalities (SDG 10), sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11) and partnership for the goals (SDG 17).

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