Our vision is for world leading knowledge infrastructure that enables Australian researchers to transform our lives. At the ARDC, we are committed to delivering enduring digital research infrastructure that will support researchers to tackle the grand challenges facing our society.
As digital research infrastructure matures and evolves, we must optimise the delivery of digital research services to researchers, reduce duplication of effort across institutions and research domains, and build enduring capability in the research community.
Further, we must prioritise, resource and govern the integration of data from diverse sources to create nationally significant collections.
Focused on Australian Researchers’ Needs
The ARDC is leading the development of targeted, enduring digital research infrastructure to meet Australian researchers’ needs and realise our vision.
Over the past 12 months, we’ve undertaken extensive nation-wide consultations to gain a deep understanding of the research community’s needs. As a result, we now have clear priorities for extending and optimising existing infrastructure to deliver a seamless research infrastructure ecosystem.
Building on the success of our mission-driven Translational Research Data Challenges, we are delivering a suite of Thematic Research Data Commons (RDCs) to meet the digital research infrastructure needs of about 70 per cent of the research sector. The People RDC is for health and medical research, the Planet RDC for earth and environmental sciences, and the HASS and Indigenous RDC for humanities, arts, social sciences and Indigenous research.
The Thematic RDCs draw on our extensive expertise in data management and the provision of digital research infrastructure and associated services to give researchers a coherent and scaled-up suite of data and tools to enable deeper research insights, better policy, and enhanced services and products.
I hope that you enjoy reading about these initiatives in this impact booklet: Partnering for Success.
On the Global Stage
We are delighted to have won the bid to host International Data Week in October 2025 in Brisbane with the support of leading institutional and industry partners in the Asia Pacific region.
International Data Week is the pre-eminent global research data conference, organised by the Committee on Data (CODATA), the World Data System of the International Science Council, and the Research Data Alliance. The conference will illuminate the power of data-driven research to solve the grand challenges facing the world, including climate change, food security and energy security.
This year, we’re also celebrating 10 years of the Research Data Alliance, which was established by the Australian Government, the European Commission and the US Government. The Research Data Alliance builds the social and technical bridges that enable open sharing and reuse of data. This international network now numbers 13,500 academics, researchers and infrastructure providers.
A Small but Mighty Sector
When compared with our European and American counterparts, the Australian research sector is small — but being small has its benefits. Australia’s national research infrastructures are well connected and actively collaborate to give the research sector access to national data assets, research platforms, tools and skills.
At the ARDC, we’ve been able to harness this unique positioning to advance Australia’s national digital research infrastructure, creating a seamless research ecosystem. Highlights include:
- In February 2023, in a world-first collaboration with 25 Australian universities, we launched the Research Data Management Framework for Institutions. The culmination of almost 2 years of collaboration by hundreds of experts, this landmark framework provides Australian universities with a national approach for managing research data.
- To highlight the vital but hidden role of research software in almost all contemporary research, we are sponsoring the inaugural Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Excellence in Research Software, which will be awarded in August 2023. We are excited to see applications for the award from domains as diverse as linguistics, bioinformatics and ecology.
- The release of the Health Studies Australian National Data Asset (HeSANDA) in mid-2023 will see a new national data-sharing capability for health studies, with an initial focus on clinical trials. Created in partnership with the health research community, it will provide a secure and ethical way for clinical trialists to fulfil the data-sharing requirements of publicly funded research, and for researchers to discover and request access to clinical trial data.
As we transform the delivery of ARDC projects and services, I look forward to continuing to support researchers to maximise the value and impact of their data through the provision of innovative and sustainable digital research infrastructure.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our dedicated team for their hard work and commitment to our mission to accelerate research and innovation by driving excellence in the creation, analysis and retention of high-quality data assets.
Thank you also to our partners for your ongoing support and collaboration.
Australian Research Data Commons
Read our 2023 Impact Booklet, Partnering for Success.