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VSN International: spinning success from statistics software

VSN International: spinning success from statistics software. Rothamsted Research

More than 40,000 people are using the advanced statistical software packages GenStat and ASReml.

The programs are used for genetic analysis, mapping the genes that influence a particular trait such as plant height, which helps researchers and breeders identify individual markers or sequences in crop genomes. Plant breeders, including large seed companies, can then use these markers to develop varieties of crops with desirable traits. GenStat can also be used to examine the effects of different treatments applied to crops, as well as a range of other statistical analyses.

Data breakout

15-20% Growth per annum of VSNi business
40% Proportion of VSNi company owned by employees
7000 Active users in developing countries using a free ‘Discovery Edition’ of the software

Both programs are developed and sold by spinout company VSN International (VSNi). VSNi was established to distribute GenStat in 2000 by Rothamsted Research, an institute that receives strategic funding from BBSRC, and technical software company Numerical Algorithms Group (NAG).

The first version of GenStat was developed by BBSRC scientists at Rothamsted in 1968, building on the world-leading applied statistics research at the institute. Later, ASReml was also developed at Rothamsted in collaboration with the Department of Primary Industry in New South Wales, Australia, and is software designed to analyse and fit statistical models to large datasets.

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