Brigade and BOINC - Helping Medical Research (and then some!)

Here at Brigade there’s a few things we love. Installing beautiful digital displays for our wonderful clients and geeking out with technology and computers. This year, while we had a bit of a slowdown in service due to the Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions preventing us from building, we decided to see what would happen if we put our extra server processing power to good use.

Enter BOINC.

One day, shortly after Christmas in 2020, we decided to install BOINC on our company server. We selected World Community Grid and Rosetta@Home as the project hosts which we wanted to support and then, because we’re geeks to the core, made sure the server’s credit was going to the University of Waterloo teams for both the project hosts (Go Warriors!).

And then we let it run for the month of January and into February - allocating 80% of the server processing power to BOINC.

So how did it turn out?

Well, take a look!


Once we flipped the switch, we started getting notifications about “contribution badges”. It didn’t take long before we were getting a Silver badge, then Gold badge the next day, then a Ruby badge a few days later as we racked up computing time.

So as you can see - in the World Community Grid side, we’ve now computed over three years of research in about a month. On the Rosetta side, it was equally as fun:


Over 471k of credit since 28 December 2020 which earned us the Top 5% badge for average daily credit submissions for all donors.

So that’s it, that’s the story of what happens when a bunch of geeks decide to hook the company server up with BOINC and have it donate it’s spare CPU cycles for cancer, Covid-19, AIDS and other forms of medical research. Until we need the extra computing power, we’re gonna let it keep running to see just how far we can get with the contributions!

UPDATE: July 7th 2021

So we let the machine run for quite a bit longer and here are the results:


And here's Rosetta@Home:


In the past four months we've done about a year and a half of computing on Covid-19 research and four years on mapping cancer marker research. As well, in Rosetta, we 4x the total research credits. We're pretty excited here and we're gonna let this run for quite a bit longer.

If you would like to donate your spare processing power - when you’re sleeping or away from your computer - head over to BOINC and sign up. There is also a BOINC app for smartphones and tablets if you would like to donate your spare processing power while your device is done charging and idle (ie. when you’re sleeping). While money may be tight in 2021, we can do other things to donate to the stuff that matters. Stay safe everyone!