Multiyear partnership brings together advanced technology, industry expertise and scale to help  researchers interpret an unprecedented amount of biomedical data and derive insights to  advance the treatment of human diseases 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., and REDMOND, Wash.  — Jan. 11, 2021 — On Monday, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Verily, an Alphabet  company, and Microsoft Corp. announced a strategic partnership to accelerate new innovations  in biomedicine through the Terra platform. Terra, originally developed by Verily and the Broad  Institute, is a secure, scalable, open-source platform for biomedical researchers to access data,  run analysis tools and collaborate. Terra is actively used by thousands of researchers every  month to analyze data from millions of participants in important scientific research projects.

Biomedical data are being generated and digitized at a historic rate and are expected to  reach dozens of exabytes by 2025 — including data from genomics, medical imaging, biometric  signals and electronic health records. Coupled with powerful research and analysis tools, these  datasets can provide lifesaving insights into some of the world’s most pressing health issues. But  making use of these important datasets remains difficult for researchers who face huge, siloed  data estates, disparate tools, fragmented systems and data standards, and varying governance and  security policies.

The new partnership aims to break through those barriers by bringing together  Microsoft’s cloud, data and AI technologies, and global network of more than 168,000 health  and life sciences partners to accelerate development of global biomedical research through the  Terra platform, provide greater access and empower the open-source community. Building on  the open-source foundation of Terra, the new collaboration will advance the ability of data

scientists, biomedical researchers and clinicians around the world to collaborate in tackling some  of the most complex and widespread diseases facing society today.

The Broad-Verily-Microsoft partnership brings together leading genomics and computer  science researchers, data scientists and technology experts to jointly deliver on the vision of the  Terra platform. Through the collaboration with Microsoft, the companies will accelerate Terra’s  vision for health and life sciences research by:

• Expanding on Terra’s open, modular and interoperable research platform, with the  addition of the Microsoft Azure cloud, data and AI technologies, and global  capabilities

• Increasing Terra’s accessibility to the more than 168,000 health and life sciences  organizations partnering with Microsoft around the world

• Enabling secure and authenticated access to distributed data stores via collaborative  workspaces

• Allowing access to a rapidly growing portfolio of open and proprietary standards based tools, best practices workflows and APIs

• Enabling federated data analysis to uncover insights and build novel analytical and  predictive models while ensuring patient privacy

• Creating a seamless and secure flow to speed the delivery of data and insights  between research and clinical domains

• Using open APIs and modular components to advance the standards-based  biomedical data ecosystem in line with the open, compatible and secure approach to  data developed by the Data Biosphere and the responsible policies and technical  standards established by the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health



“We’re pleased to be working with Microsoft and Broad on this initiative. Our three  organizations share the goals of improving patient care, driving innovation in biomedical  research, and lowering costs across healthcare and life sciences,” said Stephen Gillett, chief  operating officer at Verily. “This partnership combines multimodal data, secure analytics and scalable cloud computing to improve insight and evidence generation, allowing us to ultimately  impact more patients’ lives.”


“The opportunity to partner with the Broad Institute and Verily in helping researchers  around the world understand and treat our toughest human diseases is an honor,” said Gregory  Moore, M.D., Ph.D., corporate vice president of Microsoft Health Next. “Through this  partnership, we will apply the power of Microsoft Azure and its enterprise-grade capabilities in  security and privacy, along with cutting-edge data and AI solutions like Azure Synapse  Analytics, Azure Machine Learning and Azure Cognitive Services, to deliver on the vision of the  Terra platform at a new level of scale.”

Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

“Terra simplifies the process so researchers can analyze and share data they have  generated, and access and analyze data others have made available without needing to duplicate  datasets,” said Eric S. Lander, president and founding director of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. “As an interoperable, open-source system, Terra is designed to work across many  different types of biomedical information — moving aside barriers to storage, permissions and  computing to enable collaboration and generate insights. We are thrilled that Microsoft has  joined the Terra community and, through this collaboration, we will reduce many more barriers  to advancing science and medicine.”

“Both Microsoft and Verily share our vision for Terra as an open and collaborative  ecosystem for the sharing and analysis of biomedical data,” said Clare Bernard, senior director of  the Broad Institute Data Sciences Platform and product manager of the Terra platform. “This partnership will allow us to make Terra even more useful and accessible across a broader set of  researchers and industries.”

European Bioinformatics Institute

“Terra’s adoption of GA4GH standards is an important step forward,” said Helen  Parkinson, head of Molecular Archival Resources at the European Bioinformatics Institute  (EMBL-EBI). “By following these standards, Terra supports modularity and interoperability,  which are key to creating a global and federated data ecosystem.”

About Terra

For more information about Terra, please visit To learn more about the enterprise offering, please go here.

About Verily

Launched in 2015, Verily is a subsidiary of Alphabet focused on life sciences and  healthcare. The mission is to make the world’s health data useful so that people enjoy healthier  lives. Verily develops tools and devices to collect, organize and activate health data, and creates  interventions to prevent and manage disease. The organization partners with leading life  sciences, medical device and government organizations, using deep hardware, software,  scientific, and healthcare expertise to enable faster development, meaningful advances, and  deployment at scale.

About Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard was launched in 2004 to empower this generation of  creative scientists to transform medicine. The Broad Institute seeks to describe the molecular  components of life and their connections; discover the molecular basis of major human diseases;

develop effective new approaches to diagnostics and therapeutics; and disseminate discoveries,  tools, methods, and data openly to the entire scientific community.

Founded by MIT, Harvard, Harvard-affiliated hospitals, and the visionary Los Angeles  philanthropists Eli and Edythe L. Broad, the Broad Institute includes faculty, professional staff,  and students from throughout the MIT and Harvard biomedical research communities and  beyond, with collaborations spanning over a hundred private and public institutions in more than  40 countries worldwide. For further information about the Broad Institute, go to

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an  intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every  organization on the planet to achieve more.

For more information, press only:

Microsoft Media Relations, WE Communications for Microsoft, (425) 638-7777,

Karen Zusi, Broad Institute, (617) 714-8011,

Robin Suchan,