In a surprising announcement, Illumina reported that it had entered into a strategic alliance with Lockheed Martin, a global aerospace, defense, security, and advanced technology company.

The companies are joining forces to develop scalable and affordable genomics solutions to provide personalized healthcare for national populations.

Illumina will tap into Lockheed Martin’s expertise in large-scale information systems and integration to meet the needs of countries as they begin to integrate genomics into their national health systems.

“Genomics is enabling a fundamental transformation of healthcare,” said Horace Blackman, vp of health and life sciences for Lockheed Martin’s Information Systems and Global Solutions business. “We envision the advantages of early national adoption for countries across the globe, applying clinical decision support applications that can improve health and healthcare, and lower national healthcare costs.”

“We look forward to working with Lockheed Martin and global healthcare leaders as we develop best-in-class solutions to realize the full potential of nation-scale sequencing,” said Jay Flatley, CEO of Illumina. “We are excited about this collaboration, given the breadth and depth of Lockheed Martin’s operations and strategic relationships around the globe.”

This week Illumina also announced it is collaborating with the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow on a £15 million (about $23 million) project that will establish the Scottish Genomes Partnership. As part of the alliance, 15 Illumina HiSeq X sequencing instruments will be divided between two hubs within the universities. The partnership will initially focus on very rapid screening of cancer patients, diagnosing childhood illnesses, disorders of the central nervous system, and population studies.

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