In 2007, as a result of Bill Gates’ visit to Colombia it became clear that it was necessary to take advantage of the Colombian megadiversity through a high level research center in the country that could develop and make use of this great potential by means of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. This idea aimed to meet the goals of the national government in innovation and economic development. Therefore, the creation of BIOS began in 2008 thanks to a cooperation agreement between Colciencias and MinTIC.
The city of Manizales, located in the heart of the Coffee Region, was chosen as the place to execute this project, given its great variety of ecosystems, thermal floors, and the presence of almost 55,000 distinct species, representative of the country’s flora and fauna, that can be found within a 200 Km radius of the city. Furthermore, this region harbors one of the highest densities of high quality universities in Colombia, which offer programs related to life sciences and informatics, an important supply for BIOS.
Thanks to the collaboration of Manizales City Hall, BIOS currently operates in Los Yarumos Ecopark, a tropical wet forest ecosystem. Since 2013, BIOS contains one of the fastest supercomputers in Latin America and, since 2015, it has the most advanced visualization wall for scientific research in South America.