News release

Date: 23rd September 2008

Health Protection Agency Culture Collections Website Goes Live

System Associates, Maidenhead, 23 September 2008: The New Culture Collections website from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) has gone live on The new e-commerce site brings together four, previously separate, culture collections into one domain and has been developed by specialist public sector web services company, System Associates. System Associates has provided design, content management, digital asset management, data integration, search, hosting, training and 24-hour support for the site.

The project involved the integration of four separate databases, as well as the integration of a customer database for online ordering. More than 40,000 cell lines, bacteria, viruses or fungi can now be accessed via the site and are typically purchased by hospitals, universities and laboratories to further medical research.

Users of the site are able to browse by several different search criteria, including A-Z browsing, via reference number, name, type of culture, or culture associated with a specific part of the body, or ailment. A search will retrieve the most relevant information about a culture, as well as useful papers and resources associated with that culture.

David Macken, managing director of System Associates comments: “By far the most sophisticated aspect of this project has been to provide a meaningful retrieval on a complex subject-matter. There are 11 different search criteria, each of which relates to the indexing of more than 40,000 items.”

Helping to facilitate this retrieval is System Associates’ content management and digital asset management software, which makes it as easy as possible to add and cross-reference items to the collections. The content management system also has a versioning facility which allows content providers to edit documents, while old versions are still live, to ensure that each culture is available online, even when being updated.

Registered users of the system can order cultures directly from the website and at present, the order is then passed to operations for dispatch. Phase II of the site will see the CRM, logistics and financial systems also integrated, to provide a seamless experience from ordering to dispatch.

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Further information:
Press enquiries:
Kimberley Gray –PR Consultant
Tel: 0118 969 4904/07884 405 835
Email: kim[at]kimberleygray[dot]com

System Associates
Claire Simpson – Director
Tel: 01628 511662

About System Associates
System Associates operates within the public sector and other highly regulated industries, to provide enterprise-wide web solutions including portal technology, joined-up services, content management, single sign-on, digital asset management and search engine technology, as well as hosting, security and ongoing consultancy and project-management.

The company has strong expertise in e-GIF and government-related specifications, accessibility, technical architecture, project management, databases and integration. System Associates has developed a number of high profile e-Government solutions including Local Directgov, Your London, the Learning Gateway, Collect Britain, London eAdmissions and Choice.

The privately held company is ISO9001:2000, ISO27001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 accredited, has achieved Investor in People status and is Windsor & Maidenhead’s Small Business of the Year 2005 and recipient of the award for Best Use of Technology 2007. For more information visit

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