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BioExcel Deliverable D5.4 – Governance and Business Plan

Noack, Holger; Harrow, Ian; Bonvin, Alexandre; Carter, Adam; Apostolov, Rossen; Laure, Erwin

This governance and business plan shows how we intend to build a sustainable and resilient organisation. We provide rough estimates of our self-cost throughout the document based on available data about the diverse kind of personnel at different institutions in different countries. This business plan is not a commitment to be executed exactly as is. Rather, every time we get to a point to actually deliver a service or a product, the efforts and the cost will need to be negotiated based on the information we have available then.

Section one gives a brief introduction into the field biomolecular computational research and explains, how we as a Center of Excellence positon ourselves in this environment.

In section two, we present the main stakeholders of the ecosystem and provide the estimate that our user community contains at least 15.000 active users. We discuss findings from surveys among academic and industrial users, showing that usability aspects, compatibility of software, and quality of prediction are major concerns. We further present data from HPC market studies, based on which we estimate that the European market for biomolecular HPC software has a size of ca €170 million in 2018.

In section three we discuss the added value that our center provides to the community. We argue, that through our work, users receive better software and have access to more support, which in turn improves the quality of research that is performed.

We break down the cost for the main activities of our center in section four, and argue that these cost need to be covered through public funding.

In section five, we motivate our intention to develop commercial offerings and describe three concrete business opportunities that we are currently exploring. This section is followed by a description of our marketing approach.

Our organisational structure and its governance is described in section seven, including the description of the process for the formation of a legal entity. In section eight we look at our resources and argue that our employees are our most valuable assets. We indicate how the social enterprise could move ahead to fund product development and initiate its operations, and we conclude this document in section nine with an outlook to BioExcel 2, the next phase of the Horizon 2020 project starting in 2019.

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