CRS4 - Center for Advanced Studies, Research and Development in Sardinia, expands the infrastructure of its Next Generation Sequencing Core platform, located at Parco scientifico e tecnologico di Pula (Cagliari), becoming the first in Italy to acquire a state-of-the-art Illumina NovaSeq X Plus genomic sequencer. The acquisition was made possible through a one million euro investment provided by the sole shareholder Sardegna Ricerche, based on the approved development plan by the Regional Council. The new technology found in the Illumina NovaSeq X Plus sequencer ensures improved performance compared to machines currently used in other regions. This will allow CRS4 to generate sequencing data (up to 120Tb per month) for various types, including human, animal, and plant, at a faster speed and reduced costs.
NovaSeq X Plus represents the latest technological advancements in genomics, with improvements in optics, software, and chemistry, enabling throughput and productivity to sequence tens of thousands of genomes per year. It offers reduced costs for gigabase, up to half the price compared to previous technologies and approximately ten times lower than the instrument previously used by CRS4. The new reagents reduce potential errors, while faster integrated chips simplify data transfer and management, resulting in lower data storage costs and energy consumption. The instrument's integrated platform allows for the simultaneous execution of various analyses.
Christian Solinas, President of the Sardinia Region, stated: "With this additional investment, CRS4 confirms its role in key sectors, high technology, research, and innovation, which are fundamental for societal development and the promotion of economic growth. Thanks to the commitment, perseverance, and professionalism with which these development processes are approached and managed, we can now confidently say that our region is increasingly attentive to new technologies and the introduction of innovative and highly technological solutions, distinguishing itself not only nationally but also at the European level."
Giacomo Cao, Sole Administrator of CRS4, explained: "The CRS4's Next Generation Sequencing Core platform has acquired this new equipment with the aim of increasing the accuracy, reliability, and production capacity of sequencing data. The objective is to raise the standards of the final product's quality, reduce analysis costs, and provide a comprehensive service, from data production to the possibility of accessing analysis results through a web interface. The platform is directly interconnected with the HPC resources of the CRS4 computing center, a unique infrastructure in Italy that allows for large-scale sequencing projects. Thanks to the financial support from the Regional Council and Sardegna Ricerche, the new equipment will enable the center to become an important reference point for genomics at a regional and potentially national level, as well as support large-scale research projects funded not only through the PNRR but also to identify unknown genetic characteristics of the Sardinian population."
Maria Assunta Serra, Director General of Sardegna Ricerche, stated: "Maintaining and enhancing the infrastructures of Parco scientifico e tecnologico della Sardegna is one of the institutional goals of Sardegna Ricerche. In particular, the significant investment made by Sardegna Ricerche in the new Sequencing Platform allows CRS4 to confirm its position as a national and international center of excellence and contributes to the construction of a regional research system capable of attracting expertise and investments while addressing health emergencies and new challenges."
The sequencing laboratory's working group comprises Lidia Leoni, Head; Roberto Cusano, Laboratory manager; Jessica Milia and Rossano Atzeni, technologists.