2020 began with national-scale bushfire and flood disasters and then confronted us with the COVID-19 pandemic. These events highlighted the critical role of data in addressing unpredictable challenges.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to demonstrate the value of making data findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR) for identifying potential vaccines, tracking the spread of the virus and uncovering ways to minimise exposure. FAIR data empowers researchers, industry and government to collaborate across organisational, sectoral and geographical borders to rapidly respond in times of emergency.
Improving the ways we collect, store, share and use data within and across research domains builds resilience for Australia—empowering our society to prepare for, manage and emerge from global-scale challenges as a stronger and more agile nation.
The Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) is well placed to address these data challenges as the only national organisation dedicated to providing Australian researchers with competitive advantage through data. Our mission is to accelerate research and innovation by driving excellence in the creation, analysis and retention of high-quality data assets that lead to social, economic and environmental benefits locally and internationally.
The ARDC has a history of delivering successful digital infrastructure solutions such as analytical platforms and national data assets that support the Australian research community to solve real-world problems. Success stories like the digital fieldwork app, smart irrigation, Macquarie Perch conservation and the EcoCommons research platform featured in the booklet, Leading Australia to data-driven research impact, highlight how we deliver real impact.
Our portfolio of programs drives broader transformations across the digital research ecosystem by leading culture change on how data is described, managed and stored long term.
Where to from here?
The ARDC will use its expertise in building integrated national digital research infrastructures to address significant national and international challenges, with a focus on Australia’s science and research priorities.
We are applying this new approach to create a suite of national ‘Thematic Research Data Commons’ for Australia. Thematic Research Data Commons will bring together data and related resources (storage, models and computing infrastructure) to enable researchers from across disciplines and industries to deliver world-class data-intensive research outcomes in strategic thematic areas.
In the booklet, we feature two initiatives launched last year, Bushfire Data Challenges and Health Studies Australian National Data Asset (HeSANDA), both of which demonstrate the way we plan to approach our future activities. We are progressively expanding this work to encompass sectors including Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, and industries such as agriculture.
We look forward to you joining us on our journey to create a national research data commons for Australia that will accelerate the translation of research into real benefits for Australian society, as well as contribute to the future global open science commons.
Chief Executive Officer,
Australian Research Data Commons
Learn more about the ARDC in our impact booklet Leading Australia to data-driven research impact.