Life is more than just interacting molecules. But a good understanding of molecular interactions can make it much more comfortable. CRIMSy (Cloud Resource & Information Management System) aims at fostering cooperation among scientists from the bioactive compounds community, to provide them with tailored tools and scientific data.
What it does
CRIMSy is the software or the "operating system" of the distributed research network "Leibniz Bioactives Cloud" of the Leibniz Research Alliance "Bioactive Compounds and Biotechnology". Other consortia, e.g. "Autonomy in Old Age" are soon to follow. A CRIMSy research network provides access to documents, which are otherwise inaccessible. It allows fine grained access control accross institutional borders, which is necessary to protect intellectual property during early phases of projects. And it comes with chemical intelligence, which is rarely found on other platforms. However, so far we had postponed the development of assay data handling within our solution. In the light of the COVID-19 crisis, we decided to reschedule and to priorize this feature. This is our contribution to the EUvsVirus Hackathon. We also worked on continuous integration, improving the accessibility of our project and on fitting our project better into the GitHub ecosystem.
How we built it
Early on we assembled our developers and domain experts and started discussion. We were lucky to find a common language and quickly came up with a draft that will fit nicely into our established scheme. We coordinated our efforts using Hangouts, Slack, GitHub and a few personal messages.
Challenges we ran into
Time and resources are always tightly constrained. Many of us (especially the domain experts) are not used to tools like Slack, DevPost, GitHub.Confinement in home office gave us some difficulties - network bandwith is better at work. Audio recording for the final video was also challenging: the narration voice in the two stereo channels canceled out itself on some platforms.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We reached our goal. Our teamwork was harmonious and very effective. Successfully working at so many internet platforms at once for the first time.
What I learned
To coordinate a team during a hackathon is fun and exhausting.
What's next for CRIMSy
We're going to complete the implementation and grow our network. And we will take up the feedback and the impulses from this hackathon in our development.
Our solution’s impact to the crisis
Scientists are enabled to share information, especially information which is publicly not accessible. Depending how long the crisis will last, our solution will also provide research tools for chemistry, biology and related fields, which will be of high value.
The necessities in order to continue the project
The project has secured financing for around two years.
The value of your solution(s) after the crisis
Our project is still of high value after the crisis, as it integrates data and tools from different scientific fields and promotes cooperation among scientists.