National Research Infrastructure Scoping Studies

For: 

The Australian Government has made a significant long term commitment to support cutting edge research, with the announcement of an additional $2.2 billion investment into national research infrastructure (NRI) through the Research Infrastructure Investment Plan. This is a response to the recommendations and priorities outlined in the 2016 National Research Infrastructure Roadmap.

In addition to the significant additional funding to expand and enhance existing NRI activities a number of new NRI capabilities will be explored. A total of eight scoping studies will be undertaken in collaboration with key stakeholders to explore implementation approaches, technical requirements, how to leverage existing activity, and co-investment opportunities. Outcomes of the scoping studies will be considered in future investment plans, which the Government has committed to undertake every two years.

Details of the eight scoping studies are in the table below:

Scoping study

Description

Cost ($m)

Status

Enhanced ACCESS model

Enhancing the Australian Community Climate and Earth-System Simulator (ACCESS) weather model

$0.200

Completed

Synthetic biology

Explore national capability in synthetic biology through leadership in standardisation, biologics production and process automation.

$0.200

Completed

National Environmental Prediction System

Explore building upon existing NRIs in environmental science to provide a national environmental prediction system.

$0.404

Commenced

HASS / Indigenous research platforms

To explore better integration of information in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) and Indigenous research data platforms to maximise research outcomes, across a large and diverse group of stakeholders.

$0.866

Commenced

Biobanks

Explore opportunities to network Australia's biobanks across agriculture, plant science, environmental science and biomedical science into a national rather than a disparate capability.

$0.433

In planning

Biosecurity

Scoping of the networked and additional capital investments required (including where) to maximise research in this area, given existing jurisdictional biosecurity research and operational measures.

$0.433

In planning

Precision measurement

Scoping investments needed at the National Measurement Institute (NMI) and other key facilities to provide capability in quantum capabilities and instrumentation.

$0.219

In planning

Optimisting the value of HPC through enhanced model performance

Scoping a capability to assist in the ongoing transformational development of the software base for High Performance Computing (HPC) applications, e.g. scientific models.

$0.433

In planning

The first four scoping studies have commenced and the enhanced ACCESS model and Synthetic Biology scoping studies have been completed. The Government is drawing on expert groups and sector representatives to support the scoping studies. Details of the expert group members and contact details are below. Alternatively, or for matters related to other scoping studies, contact the department on ResearchInfrastructure@education.gov.au.

Synthetic Biology Scoping Study

The reference group has finalised a scoping study report that is being reviewed by the department.

The members of the reference group for this study were:

  • Professor Sakkie Pretorius (Chair) – Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Macquarie University
  • Professor Joseph Trapani - Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
  • Dr Claudia Vickers - CSIRO Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform
  • Dr Mark Jacobs - Queensland Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation
  • Dr Phil Wright - NSW Department of Primary Industries

This study is being supported by a secretariat function in Bioplatforms Australia (BPA). The expert group's secretariat can be contacted via BPA at: info@bioplatforms.com.

ACCESS Scoping Study

The reference group has finalised a scoping study report that is being reviewed by the department.

The members of the reference group for this study were:

  • Dr Greg Ayers - (Chair) - Former CEO of the Bureau of Meteorology
  • Dr Peter May - Head of Research, Bureau of Meteorology
  • Dr Helen Cleugh - Director, Climate Science Centre, CSIRO
  • Dr Ben Evans - National Computational Infrastructure
  • Dr Tas van Ommen - Australian Antarctic Division
  • Professor Andy Pitman - ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science

This study is being supported by a secretariat function in the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI). The expert group's secretariat can be contacted via the NCI at: enquiries@nci.org.au.

National Environmental Prediction System (NEPS) Scoping Study

This scoping study has commenced. The members of the reference group for this study are:

  • Dr Rob Vertessy - (Chair) - Former CEO of BoM
  • Dr Andrea Hinwood – Chief Environmental Scientist, Environmental Protection Agency, Victorian Government
  • Dr Steve Morton – Honorary Professorial Fellow, Charles Darwin University
  • Dr Warwick McDonald – Research Director, CSIRO
  • Dr Phil McFadden AO - Former Geoscience Australia Chief Scientist

This study is being supported by a secretariat function in the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN). The expert group's secretariat can be contacted via TERN at tern.office@uq.edu.au 

HASS and Indigenous ResearchScoping Study

There are a number of HASS and Indigenous research scoping study related activities underway or completed:

  • The Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) have investigated development of a HASS data commons.
  • The Australian Academy of the Humanities has surveyed and reported on international examples of HASS research infrastructure that Australia may wish to emulate.
  • Dandolo Partners engaged with the sector to refine HASS National Research Infrastructure investment priorities, gaps and potential impacts.

Further engagement with the HASS and Indigenous research community is planned for 2020.