In 2018, the DFG funded four Next Generation Sequencing Competence Centers (NGS-CC) to meet the urgent need for a more competitive NGS infrastructure in Germany.
The four centers are the Competence Center for Genomic Analysis (CCGA) Kiel, the Dresden-concept Genome Center (DcGC), the NGS Competence Center Tübingen (NCCT) and the West German Genome Center (WGGC).
The WGGC is a joint endeavor of three neighboring universities together with six additional universities or other academic institutions in close geographical proximity. The universities of Cologne, Bonn and Düsseldorf host the three NGS core facilities that act as production sites of the WGGC.
The other partners, RWTH Aachen University, University Duisburg-Essen, Saarland University, the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE, Bonn), Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM, Bonn) and the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research (MPIPZ, Cologne) complement the expertise of the three productions sites with taxa-specific knowledge and special bioinformatics skills.
The WGGC production sites fulfill requirements of industry standards for sequencing and data processing. They are capable of running large-scale genomics projects and, together with the other partner institutions and an expert base of over 70 participating scientists, evaluating sequencing data from more than 50 different taxa.
The WGGC commenced operations in January 2019. It received a funding of 5.3 Mio € plus 22% programme allowance for an initial run time of 3 years. The funding enabled the different NGS production sites to expand their sequencing capacities, advance techniques, such as single-cell genomics or long-read sequencing, and to build lasting bioinformatics capabilities as well as high-performance computing and data storage infrastructures.
As the main WGGC production site, the Cologne Center for Genomics (CCG) with its decade-long successful consulting and collaboration strategy and its scientific expertise in state-of-the-art NGS applications is substantially contributing to the success of the new NGS-CC.
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