The E-Research Institutional Cloud Architecture (ERICA) platform provides a secure, customisable, cloud-based computing environment for researchers using sensitive data. 

ERICA, an orchestration framework (infrastructure as code,) offers significant advantages over secure data enclave models that use fixed computing infrastructure. It leverages the rich services and scalability of a premier commercial cloud provider (AWS), permitting researchers to use a wide range of operating system and workspace configurations, including customised, current-generation high performance and high-throughput computing resources. The ERICA platform boosts international collaboration by allowing shared access to data resources by collaborating researchers located in other countries while still supporting the on-shore-only data sovereignty requirements of Australian data custodians.

1 Expand the national ERICA network
Implement the well-proven ERICA code base within a broader array of Australian research organisations
2 Port to Nectar Cloud
Exploratory porting of the ERICA framework to run on Nectar cloud nodes
3 Improve platform efficiency and sustainability
Modifying components of the ERICA platform to increase automation, reduce operational costs, and improve disaster recovery capability
4 Improved data governance
Developing ‘Five Safes-enabled’ project governance pipelines, policies and procedures for the national and international context
5 Shared solutions
Exploring secure interoperability with other sensitive data platforms by porting existing ERICA API-driven large file ingest and egress capabilities

Core features

Research transformation
ERICA enables novel and trailblazing research in fields including health, justice, housing, education, disability, social services and child protection. This research increasingly requires application of computationally-intensive analytics, including machine learning (ML), to large-scale, complex and potentially sensitive personal data. The ERICA platform is unique in supporting these requirements in an immediate, on-demand, scalable and cost effective way.
Research collaboration
The ERICA platform boosts international collaboration because it allows shared access to data resources by collaborating researchers located in other countries while still supporting the on-shore-only data sovereignty requirements of Australian data custodians.

Who is this project for?

  • Research organisations
  • Researchers
  • Research Students
  • Infrastructure providers
  • Government (state and commonwealth)

What does this project enable?

The ERICA platform will support researchers who use sensitive microdata (such as participant-level data) across fields including medical and health, justice, housing, education, disability, social services, and child protection. It supports increasing demand for access to large-scale cross-sectoral data to generate ‘real world evidence’ while minimising the risk of privacy, security and confidentiality breaches.

Handy resources

Visit the UNSW Centre for Big Data Research in Health

UNSWVisit
The University of MelbourneVisit
Intersect AustraliaVisit
NSW Data Analytics CentreVisit
The George Institute AustraliaVisit
Australian Institute of Health and WelfareVisit
University of AdelaideVisit
University of Western AustraliaVisit
Population Health Research NetworkVisit