It’s been a big year for the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC)!
We have been busy working on our strategy refresh and have identified the themes we need to focus on to ensure we deliver on our commitment to providing Australian researchers with competitive advantage through data.
Our five strategic themes are Coordination & Coherence, People & Policy, Data & Services, Software & Platforms and Storage & Compute. The Data & Services and Software & Platforms themes are our core business and generate many of our major activities.
The Platforms program aims to increase the number of researchers with access to platforms, both in terms of absolute number and diversity of disciplines. Outcomes from the recent open call for proposals will be announced in December.
The Data & Services theme will increase innovation in research through improvements in the quality and quantity of data assets and the integrity and reproducibility of research across the whole research system by increasing the FAIR-ness (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable) of research data.
We have a number of new initiatives coming out of the Strategy. The first one we would like to share is the National Data Assets initiative. Through this initiative and strategic partnerships, we will establish a portfolio of national scale data assets that support leading-edge research.
This initiative is one example of how the ARDC is in a unique position to catalyse collaboration by bringing people and capabilities from across the sector to work on high-impact solutions that contribute to the development of a nationally coherent research data commons.
A pivotal program from the Coordination & Coherence theme is a new initiative called Flagships. The ARDC Flagships program, which we will launch next year, will draw on the breadth of our expertise and skills across all ARDC strategic themes to deliver collaborative, national-scale activities that target specific challenges or gaps in the data and tools available for research.
The ARDC Flagships will build on our core business to create solutions through the innovative application of FAIR data, software and platforms across the research lifecycle. They will be unique, in terms of the specific data challenge, and they are of enduring nature. Outcomes from the Flagship program will contribute to long-term enhancement of the eResearch infrastructure environment.
The Storage & Compute and People & Policy themes are critical to supporting and enabling our core business. We will continue to invest in the ARDC’s Nectar Research Cloud to ensure researchers can work seamlessly across different sites until July 2023. However, going forward, the emphasis will shift to investing in innovative leading-edge infrastructure rather than undifferentiated infrastructure.