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Google’s venture capital arm has recently invested in a Massachusetts-based start-up called Wingu. The company helps improve cloud-based collaboration, thus improving scientific research on various projects.

Collaborative tools for scientific research are already available in the cloud. Some of them are, Mendeley and Questia.

The home page explains that Wingu will provide “more connective ways to get to the next decision point”. In simple words, this means that Wingu will offer researchers, analysts and scientists a method to collaborate and share easily online thereby enabling them to collectively reach a conclusions. Additionally, the service provides ways to use the cloud-stored data, through the “enterprise-grade cloud platform dubbed Elements.”

Wingu offers four main selling points:

  1. Managing cross-discipline teams on a common platform to share data and ideas
  2. Analysing data to drive decision-making with analytical workflows and discovery tools
  3. Sharing information to connect researchers across silos and geographical divides for better collaboration
  4. Protecting intellectual property via data back ups and leading systems and security experts.

Biotech and the Cloud

Job postings on the site indicate that Wingu might be more than just a regular cloud-based collaboration service. One of the positions they are recruiting for is a BioInformatics & Engineering specialist. Could this be simply tied in to the last point mentioned above – data security – or does Google have some much bigger plans?

What seems surprising about Google investing in this project, is also the fact that the investment was done very quietly. The move has even been described as “stealthy”.

Of course, it is possible that this was done quietly only because Google did not see a need to make a hue and cry over this acquisition. On the other hand, it could also be to maintain some privacy and prevent competitors from finding out too much about the project or launching similar projects of their own.