Investing in new platforms

The Australian Research Data Commons is running a program of investment in platform infrastructure over four years (2019-2023). A goal of the program is to increase the number of researchers with access to platforms, both in terms of absolute number and in terms of diversity of disciplines. The program also seeks to support a community of platform developers and managers.

We define a platform as “a set of online services, often with associated integration and/or orchestration functions and connections to specific data resources, that enable researchers to collect or generate data, analyse those data, and produce outputs that can be made Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR).’ Platforms are also called virtual research environments, software infrastructure, science gateways or virtual laboratories.

We have undertaken two open calls and invested $21.7 million in 26 platforms projects that cover the National Science and Research Priorities and National Research Infrastructure Roadmap focus areas. The breadth of investment ensures Australia's world class research system continues to improve productivity, create jobs, lift economic growth and support a healthy environment.

Past open calls

We took a two-stage approach to making investments in platforms. The first was a call for expressions of interest (EOIs) and then a request for proposal (RFP).

The EOI phase was intended to facilitate collaboration between researchers, research groups, research organisations and communities around a proposed Platform investment, with all EOIs made public on the ARDC website (see Key resources below to view them).

The RFP phase was a competitive funding call and was only open to those who submitted an EOI, and their collaborators.

Ten projects were successful in the 2019 round, and sixteen in the 2020 round.

Request for Proposal processes and documents are available below for reference.

ARDC-supported Research Platforms

Prior to the formation of ARDC, Nectar supported the development of research platforms through its Virtual Laboratories and eResearch Tools programs, and many of these have been enhanced and continue to support their research communities, along with the newer platforms.

If you’re looking for analysis tools specific to your research area, browse and access our list of ARDC-supported Research platforms.

computer and software
person and access to data and tools