The move is the first step in a partnership between the Institute and the internet giant, which will see the two develop computing infrastructure to support the analysis and storage of genetic data produced in research.
Since last week, the Broad Institute's Genome Analysis Toolkit (GATK) software has been available to certain users of Google Genomics - an online service where large amounts of genetic information can be stored and analysed 'in the cloud'.
The GATK software provides a variety of tools to analyse genomes, such as identifying variations between the genetic codes of different people. It is already available for free to research institutions and non-profit organisations and can be licensed for businesses.
Now that it is available through Google Genomics, customers can effectively use the software via high-powered computers maintained by Google and accessed over the internet, rather than on local computers.
Eric Banks, director of data science and data engineering at the Broad Institute, told GenomeWeb, 'The significant hardware requirements for running the GATK at scale may make it difficult for smaller research laboratories that lack dedicated compute infrastructure. But with GATK in the cloud, virtually anyone with an account can access it.'
This partnership will be seen as an advantage for Google as it and other technology companies, such as Amazon and Microsoft, compete for dominance in the emerging market of storing and analysing human genetic data online. This industry is expected to be worth $1 billion by 2018.
To date, GATK has been downloaded 20,000 times, according to Broad Institute chief operating officer Samantha Singer, and it will continue to be available directly from the Broad Institute.