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Aligning Australian research infrastructure


NCRIS has 27 currently active capabilities supporting the work of over 35,000 researchers around Australia.

Each of those capabilities plays its own unique part in the research landscape, whether providing facilities and expertise for specific domains or broader services across the sector. NCRIS projects work together on common issues to find joint solutions.

The NCRIS National Research Infrastructure Roadmap, provided to the Federal Government in February 2017, makes a strong case for further alignment and collaboration in the sector, and presents specific proposals for how that might happen.

“Australia has the opportunity to consolidate the gains of the past decade and create a more integrated, coherent and reliable system to deal with the various needs of data-intensive, cross-disciplinary and global collaborative research,” the Roadmap states.

More than the sum of its parts

One recommendation in the Roadmap document is for the Australian National Data Service (ANDS), National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (Nectar) and Research Data Services (RDS) to establish “an integrated data-intensive infrastructure system, incorporating physical infrastructure, policies, data, software, tools and support for researchers”.

This year, ANDS, RDS and Nectar are aligning their programs to enhance existing capabilities and improve services to researchers and institutions.

This issue of Share explores that alignment further and gives an update on the direction of travel. It will also look at where such collaboration is already taking place across data-intensive research, including outside the realm of NCRIS.

For Australian research infrastructure, the whole really is a lot more than the sum of its parts.