National representation

eResearch SA represents South Australia’s eResearch interests nationally by:

  • Participating in national eResearch programs, forums and consultations
  • Providing a South Australian base for national eResearch programs and entities
  • Coordinating cross-institutional responses to national opportunities
  • Advocating for South Australia’s share of national resources

eResearch is leading South Australia’s involvement in the following national initiatives:

Australian eResearch Organisations (AeRO)

The Australian Research Collaboration Services (ARCS) completed its program of infrastructure development work funded through NCRIS Platforms for Collaboration on 30th June 2011.

The services that ARCS developed, deployed and operated nationally for researchers are an important foundation to support research. More than 3,500 researchers subscribe to the various services and more than 100 new users per month take up one or more of the services.

So that these core services to continued to be provided and operated, the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR) and ARCS arranged for the regional eResearch service providers to operate them through 2011/12.

To support this operation eResearch SA cooperates with five other State based eResearch organisations to deliver national services to researchers across the nation.

The six eResearch organisations are iVEC, TPCA, VPAC, Intersect, qcif, and eResearch SA. This group, plus VeRSI from Victoria form the core of a national group known as AeRO (Australian eResearch Organisations).

The core national services that are continuing under this cooperative agreement include:

  • Grid & Compute Cloud and ARCS Identity Provider – operated by the Victorian Partnership for Advanced Computing (VPAC)
  • Data Services, including the ARCS Data Fabric, and the ARCS Access Service – operated by iVEC
  • Video collaboration (EVO for desktop and Access Grid for room-based) – operated by the Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation (QCIF)
  • Helpdesk support (eResearch SA).

Australian National Data Service (ANDS)

eResearch SA is the South Australian partner of the Australian National Data Service (ANDS). ANDS is a Government-funded program that seeks to transform Australia’s research data into a cohesive body of research resources, the Australian Research Data Commons.

ANDS enables the following four transformations of research data:

  • from unmanaged to managed
  • from disconnected to connected
  • from invisible to findable
  • from single-use to reusable.

We have been working with the South Australian universities, first to set up, then to help deliver projects enabling these research data transformations.

The projects have involved collections of research data across a wide range of disciplines:

  • plant phonemics data from The Plant Accelerator
  • performing arts data  – the AusStage dataset
  • minerals and materials data from the Ian Wark Research Institute
  • genomics data from the University of Adelaide’s School of Molecular and Biomedical Science
  • cinema data held by Flinders University – the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America dataset
  • South Australian architectural data held by the University of South Australia’s Architecture Museum
  • archival and other data across numerous disciplines at the University of Adelaide
  • sleepy lizard behavioural ecology data from Flinders University.

ANDS is building the Australian Research Data Commons, a cohesive collection of research resources from all Australian research institutions, to make better use of Australia’s research outputs.

Research Data Storage Infrastructure (RDSI) Project

The Australian Government’s 2009/10 Budget included an announcement of $50 million to be devoted to the Research Data Storage Infrastructure (RDSI) Project.

This project will enhance data centre development and support retention and integration of nationally significant data assets into the national collaboration and data fabric. It is to be funded through the Super Science Initiative and sourced from the Education Investment Fund (EIF).

RDSI is the largest cash injection for research storage infrastructure in Australia’s history, and per-capita is one of the world’s largest.

eResearch SA, with a firm commitment from the University of Adelaide, University of South Australia and Flinders University, has submitted a bid for RSDI funding. Our successful bid will inject $1.5m worth of additional data storage capacity into South Australia’s research sector.

The funding, from RDSI’s ‘NoDe Programme’ initiative, will develop eResearch SA’s capability to hold and process high data volumes, providing world-class storage and access services to the research sector in South Australia.

eResearch SA’s successful bid is one of six Primary Nodes that will be built to create a national network of infrastructure to support data intensive research and research collaboration.

The South Australian node will support researchers at the University of Adelaide, University of South Australia, Flinders University and the State Government, by hosting and supporting well-formed data collections, and their active use and retention. It will also provide some infrastructure support for the development of new collections as prioritised by researchers, institutions and node organisations.

In the first instance storage will prioritised by specialisation with the South Australian node supporting Agriculture, Bio-diversity and Architecture collections. Data collections with successful ReDS awards will also have priority allocation.

National eResearch Tools And Resources (NeCTAR) Project

The Australian Government’s 2009/10 Budget also included an announcement of $47 million to support the University of Melbourne led NeCTAR Project (National eResearch Tools And Resources).

The NeCTAR Project will enhance frequently used research tools, develop exemplar digitally enabled laboratories and establish virtual server and cloud infrastructure able to support the next generation of research ‘apps’.

In 2011 eResearch SA submitted a bid for $1.2m of funding to build a NeCTAR Research Cloud Node. The Node bid, if successful will allow researchers to access compute facilities that they would otherwise find difficult to resource.

As one of eResearch SA’s key roles is to lead SA involvement in national eResearch initiatives eResearch SA also expressed a commitment to the South Australian research community to support researchers’ bids for further funding under future funding initiatives of the RDSI and NeCTAR projects.

More about the NeCTAR project

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  • “The supercomputing facilities at eResearch SA permit analysis of a host of interesting problems in evolutionary biology. It is the only computer system in SA that can perform certain complex calculations required to infer large evolutionary trees and associated patterns of evolution.”  
    Associate Professor Michael LeeSouth Australian Museum
  • “Open source intelligence is about extracting information from blogs, news sites and social media platforms, any information that can be freely accessed online. There’s way too much information out there for an individual or group of people to comprehend, so we have created automated tools to allow our users to extract the data they need...access to the latest technology allow[s] us to continue to provide the best platforms to our end-users.”
    David BlockowData to Decisions CRC
  • "The eRSA support is very personal and solution-focused and not just a brushing off 'it's-your-fault-check-your-code' kind of support which one sometimes gets from University tech supports. I very much appreciate the help."  
    Sven SchellenbergSchool of Science, RMIT University
  • On using an eResearch program to complete 3D modelling of architectural records: “We were able to build an interactive, photo image model of the [historical South Australian property Joseph Elliot’s cottage] home – transforming simple sketches and floor plans into an interactive 3D experience... what we have now is a computerised model that allows us to experience the Elliott house beyond just words on paper”.
    Associate Professor Christine Garnaut
  • "eResearch capabilities ... ensure we can continue to use the latest methods available in our field. The hope is that through the use of these technologies, we will be able to achieve some research outcomes that may otherwise not have been possible.”  
    Professor Ina Bornkessel-SchlesewskyCognitive Neuroscience, UniSA
  • “Having access to greater computer power helps us put in place a more realistic model in terms of the number of atoms you can have in the system and that improves the predictive power of the calculations.”
    Professor Andrea GersonMinerals and Materials Science & Technology

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