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DDN and Helmholtz Munich Receive 2023 AI Breakthrough Award

In recognition for their work in accelerating AI-driven discoveries that deliver concrete benefits to society and human health

DDN (DataDirect Networks Inc.) has been selected alongside Helmholtz Munich as a winner of the 2023 AI Breakthrough Awards for the Best AI-based Solution for Life Sciences category.


Companies were recognized for their work in accelerating AI-driven discoveries that deliver concrete benefits to society and human health.

As part of the Helmholtz Association, Germany’s largest research organization, Helmholtz Munich is one of 19 research centers that develop solutions and technologies for the world of tomorrow. The research integrates AI methodologies and spans multiple data-intensive computational applications like decoding plant genomes, tissue sample testing or creature and epidemiology cohort studies.

Helmholtz Munich’s scientists and researchers continuously pursue new ways to solve complex problems faster and turned to DDN’s parallel file system technology to keep up with research demands.

The work that Helmholtz Munich is doing is making strides in scientific discovery and is poised to help change the world for the better. With DDN’s expertise, world-class customer support and performing and reliable architecture, I can provide the best storage solutions to my researchers, helping them continue their work without disruption today, and well into the future,” said Dr. Alf Wachsmann, head of DigIT infrastructure & scientific computing, Helmholtz Munich. “It is an honor to be recognized alongside DDN as a winner of the AI Breakthrough Awards, and it’s a testament to our commitment to promoting and fostering a healthier society.

Helmholtz Munich has 4 fully populated SFA ES7990X systems that span a global namespace, enabling easy control and management of large data sets, streamlined workflows and performance needed to reduce time to discovery. The center also implemented an SFA NVMe ES400NVX system with GPU integration that delivers faster data throughput with direct datapaths between storage and GPU specifically for its intensive AI applications. The DDN EXAscaler parallel file system appliances accelerate Helmholtz Munich’s researchers’ ability to accelerate discovery processes while mitigating day-to-day risk associated with the ingest, distribution and analysis of  big data.

DDN’s parallel file system technology was built to tackle today’s most demanding AI end-to-end requirements at any scale, delivering the highest performance efficiency straight into generative AI, ML and other enterprise high-performance applications,” said Tommaso Cecchi, senior director of sales EMEA, DDN. “We are thrilled to receive the AI Breakthrough Award for our role in helping Helmholtz Munich meet its researchers’ evolving AI and data-intensive workload demands by delivering solutions that allow its researchers to focus on the scientific discoveries that improve the world of tomorrow.

In its 6th year, the AI Breakthrough Awards program honors excellence, innovation, hard work and success in technological and product leadership in a range of AI and ML related categories. This year’s program attracted more than 3,000 nominations globally.

While generative AI is grabbing headlines, other promising applications like sophisticated new protein and molecule creations for drug discovery and autonomous driving are also driving the need for efficient, dependable performance that can readily scale,” said James Johnson, MD, AI breakthrough. “DDN AI storage offers purpose-built infrastructure that is designed to accommodate the data-hungry workflows and research that is being conducted at Helmholtz Munich. Together, DDN and Helmholtz Munich are trailblazing their way through Life Science discovery, and we are thrilled to recognize DDN and Helmholtz Munich in the 2023 AI Breakthrough Awards program.”

The 2 organizations recently hosted the Life Sciences Field Day 2023 at the Helmholtz Munich campus which addressed a range of topics including the impact of new AI methods on research outcomes and the benefits of accelerated computing and sophisticated data management. Presentations from organizations like BASF, LuxProvide, University of Oxford, and Carl Zeiss in addition to DDN and Helmholtz Munich are available on demand.

List of all the featured winners for the 2023 AI Breakthrough Awards

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