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Intersect will work on extending and enhancing the Australian Schizophrenia Research Bank (ASRB) for the Schizophrenia Research Institute.

The ASRB enables researchers to study the genetic underpinnings of schizophrenia and diagnostic subgroups within it, with the aim of leading to improved treatments and preventative strategies.

Intersect built the ASRB in 2009. A secure commercial grade system, the ASRB revolutionised the way schizophrenia research data is collected, stored and disseminated in Australia. NeCTAR will fund $639k of this research tool, with a co-investment $1019k.

Work is complete on the NSW node of the Monash University Protein Crystallography TARDIS system. Developed by Intersect for the University of Sydney (and other potential users), the project has established the NSW TARDIS node for storing macromolecular protein crystallography data. The NSW TARDIS node automates feeds of data from the Monash TARDIS system. Participating laboratories in NSW can capture, annotate, organise and store data and access stored raw data. &

This project is supported by the Australian National Data Service (ANDS). ANDS is supported by the Australian Government through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy Program and the Education Investment Fund (EIF) Super Science Initiative

NeCTAR has announced another round of completed agreements. The following projects will involve Intersect:

Astronomy Australia Ltd’s All-Sky Virtual Observatory. To gain maximum scientific benefit from the impending data flood from new facilities, a federation of datasets from all types of astronomical facilities in Australia will be built. This involves creating hardware, tools and services to bring together data from radio and optical telescopes and supercomputers, covering all of the southern sky.

A Federated Archaeological information management system for UNSW. This project will assemble a comprehensive information system for archaeology. It will allow data from field and laboratory work to be born digital using mobile devices, processed in local databases, extracted to data warehouses suitable for sophisticated analysis, and exchanged online through cultural heritage registries and data repositories. The end product will be a suite of compatible tools accessible to archaeologists through a single portal.

About 55 heads of agencies and senior representatives of eResearch agencies attended the second forum of Australian eResearch Organisations (AeRO) in Melbourne on 18 June. The forum pursued the top priorities identified in the first forum, and subsequently ranked in a targeted survey. Discussion focused on the two leading issues:

- developing catalogues of eResearch tools and services, and so expanding work to date by eg CAUDIT and ANDS; and 
- providing help-desk services to support researchers across all eResearch services.

Presentations were made by representatives of CAUDIT, AARnet, ANDS, the University of Melbourne, AeRIC, AeRO and the AAF. The forum established two working committees to plan and action the next steps in both areas. 

The next full AeRO forum will occur in Sydney immediately preceding the eResearch Australasia conference on 27 October 2012. For more see

The first five nodes of the $50 million Research Data Storage Infrastructure (RDSI) project have been announced. The storage network is intended to transform the way in which research data collections are stored and accessed in Australia.

Four primary nodes have been announced – one to be established by Intersect in Sydney, a Brisbane node at the Queensland Cyber infrastructure Foundation, the ANU will establish a node in Canberra and eResearch SA will set up a node in Adelaide. An additional node will be established by the University of Tasmania.

These are the first of eight to ten nodes intended to underpin the national storage network, which by 2014 will offer Australian researchers access to around 100 petabytes of data collections.

RDSI along with the National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (NeCTAR) research cloud are two main pillars of the Government’s Super Science initiative which is being financed through the Education Investment Fund.

The RDSI programme is led by Nick Tate, based at the University of Queensland, (UQ). UQ is leading the program on behalf of the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIISRTE). 

Nodes in the RDSI will be connected by AARNet but using a separate wavelength to other data traffic on the network to avoid the transmission of large data collections “flooding” the AARNet backbone.

Further information can be found here.


Proposals are due 4pm AEST on Friday 29 June 2012. See:

For round 2 NeCTAR proposals, NeCTAR has launched an online forum to encourage collaboration. Proposals are due 4pm AEST on Friday June 29, 2012 

This means that there will now be a simplified process of engagement for members dealing with the preferred suppliers.

RDSI and CAUDIT have established the panel of vendors to provide cost effective infrastructure and services for the sector in the following areas: storage, servers, network equipment, software and cloud storage.

Approved RDSI nodes will be required to procure storage related infrastructure, software and services from the vendor panel unless an exemption is agreed by both the RDSI Board and the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research. (Customers can, of course procure storage related infrastructure, software and services from vendors outside the panel for purposes other than the RDSI project).

The vendor panel aims to:

  • provide the sector with an easy-to-manage, cost effective process for procurement of storage related infrastructure, software and services, by pre-qualifying vendors.
  • provide members with access to highly competitive and comparable pricing for products.
  • simplify legal processes and ensure a consistent approach throughout the sector.
  • give vendors some certainty with respect to future revenue.

For more information:

Those interested in submitting project proposals must register to download RFP stage two documentation.

Only Virtual Laboratories and Research Cloud node project proposals may be submitted in this round. Research Tool and National Server Program proposals will not be accepted.

Please note, the Response Template in Part D of the documentation has been modified and streamlined since RFP stage one.