At MARI (the Mars Advanced Research Institute), our mission is to connect Mars with emerging science and technology, sparking discoveries which re-invent the future of our industry. But we know we don’t have all the answers, and collaboration is a key part of our work.
Since 2015, MARI and the University of Tennessee’s National Institute for Computational Sciences (NICS) have worked together to advance Mars’ capabilities in computational modeling, bioinformatics and artificial intelligence. A key product of this collaboration is the creation of the Mars Advanced Research Virtual Environment Lab (MARVEL).
MARVEL provides Mars with the computational infrastructure required to carry out next generation data analytics processes and gives us access to scientists with expertise in computational methods. All this knowledge and data translates into a better understanding of the science behind Mars products and services. A better understanding leads to insights. Insights lead to innovations in service of our consumers.
For example, Mars is using MARVEL in the food safety arena. Aflatoxin is a poisonous but little-known natural product made by certain fungi. Specialists from the University of Cambridge and Mars Digital Technologies are using MARVEL to predict the likelihood of aflatoxin in maize, by analysing data on things such as humidity levels, temperature, and rainfall, all of which affect whether aflatoxin can grow. By having access to this data Mars can make informed predictions about aflatoxin contamination, ensuring that the raw materials that we buy are safe for everyone,
This is just one example of how MARI’s collaboration with NICS is sparking discoveries in emerging science and technology. Connecting the capabilities of researchers, like NICS, with the opportunities for innovation across Mars is the driving force behind MARI’s mission.