Sunday, 23 October 2016 18:23

Collaboration will boost Australian research with $5 million in new funds

Collaboration will boost Australian research with $5 million in new funds Image courtesy of jk1991 at

Over $5 million in new investment funding will be used to develop services for Australian researchers in fields including climate, medical, terrestrial and marine environments, culture and genomics.

Three Australian eResearch providers — the Australian National Data Service (ANDS), National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (Nectar) and Research Data Services (RDS) — have announced they will collaborate on the investment project to deliver benefits to researchers.

Under the partnership projects supported by the investments include:

●Over $4.3m spread across nine "research community" projects will directly enhance the researcher user experience by improving their abilities to use and manage their data, and provide researchers with the ability to run simulations in a digital environment though Virtual Laboratories; and

●A sum of $700,000 to fund a "Data Lifecycle framework" that will connect research infrastructure components to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Australia’s research data.

“We’re trying to make it easier for researchers to engage with the services we provide and are therefore harmonising our processes,” said Ian Duncan, RDS director.

Duncan says that in medical research, the integration of data from new machines married with clinical trials and a robust library of data enables precision personalised medicine. “This is only possible when data is assembled and able to be used by researchers in novel ways."

And, Nectar’s director, Glenn Moloney, says, “The research communities we work with have complex needs. The combined cloud and data resources we have assembled through these projectsare greater than the sum of the parts."

According to the three companies, the combined work of ANDS, Nectar and RDS deliver tools and services that facilitate research innovation, and enable collaboration for borderless research nationally and internationally.

“The collective organisations enhance the translation of research through reliable and available outputs of research, including data, methods and models.”

Executive director of ANDS, Ross Wilkinson, said: "This is new investment into Australia’s research future, and a new way of doing things for us. Researchers want a more joined-up, cohesive experience, and that is exactly what this joint funding will provide. RDS, ANDS and Nectar are working together at every level of our organisations to support Australian research.”

All three organisations are federally funded though the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS), which supports national collaborative research infrastructure to enable Australian researchers to deliver lasting returns to the Australian community.

Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) director, Beryl Morris, says the investments enable TERN to deliver greater efficiency gains and effectiveness for Australia’s ecosystem scientists and managers. “We will be able to better advance science and contribute to effective management and sustainable use of our ecosystems,” Morris says.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - an iTWire treasure is a mentor and coach who volunteers also a writer and much valued founding partner of iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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