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Australian Science Clouds

Six of Australia’s national research infrastructure investments have come together to create a new, exciting e-research platform to support Australian research: The Australian Science Clouds.

Federal Government funding via the Department of Education and Training’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) has been secured to establish three new Science Clouds:

Establishment of the Science Community Clouds will ensure that research communities have improved access to shared data, tools, platforms and computing resources according to each community’s domain-specific needs.

The science clouds will benefit from the efficiencies of leveraging a common underlying eResearch cloud platform, while also supporting shared access across the domain cloud boundaries. It is also expected that the proposed science clouds will provide widely-accessible knowledge sharing platforms for supporting research-industry collaboration.


On this page you will find regularly updated information on the development of the Australian Science Clouds and, in particular the Ecosystems Science Cloud, which TERN is leading the development of.  Once developed, this page will also provide links to each of the three Science Clouds and showcase new data products and tools.

Follow the link for more information on:

 National NCRIS Infrastructure Partners

The national NCRIS infrastructure partners include:

  • BioPlatforms Australian (BPA) – bioplatforms.com
  • Terrestrial Ecosystems Research Network (TERN) – tern.org.au
  • Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) – imos.org.au
  • National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (NeCTAR) – nectar.org.au
  • National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) – nci.org.au
  • Research Data Services (RDS) – rds.edu.au

Research Infrastructure Providers supporting the proposal

Other research infrastructure providers supporting the proposal include:

Building on existing infrastructure

The Science Clouds will build upon the existing Research Cloud and Virtual Laboratories provided by NeCTAR, the national data storage services provided by RDS and streamlined access to major data collections hosted by NCI (National Computational Infrastructure).

BPA, TERN and IMOS will provide leadership and coordination in prioritising and deploying tools and platforms on behalf of their research communities.


Australian Ecosystems Science Cloud

The Australian Ecosystem Science Cloud will provide the ecosystem science community with improved access to cloud-based tools, including virtual laboratories, research tools and platforms, via a single interface that links multiple data nodes and data service providers.



  • NeCTAR – Major project sponsor
  • TERN, ALA – NCRIS Domain Projects, partners
  • QCIF - implementation partner
  • NCI – collaborator, partners

Australian Ecosystem Science Cloud Goals:

  • Offer open data platform (harmonised cloud-enabled data infrastructure) for data interoperability with simplified service model;
  • Offer data computational services next to data to minimise data movement;
  • Provide data accessibility to different research platforms and virtual labs from a common platform;
  • Offer a scalable managed computing environment with access to distributed and data-intensive computation technologies; and
  • Develop a support system for a cross-discipline use of data.


Siddeswara Guru: s.guru@uq.edu.au

Hamish Holewa: hholewa@quadrant.edu.au


January 2018

$2m data enhancement project will help safeguard Australia’s native flora

The ‘EcoScience Research Data Cloud and Data Enhanced Virtual Laboratory’ (EcoCloud) project will provide an online platform giving researchers easy access to large volumes of curated data and tools using Cloud and Virtual Laboratory (VL) technology. This will also include resources to support publication and sharing of the data and its analysis.

August 2017

EcoCloud: one of three new Australian Science Clouds

Open access to free, domain-specific, cloud-based research tools, virtual laboratories and platforms via a single interface that links multiple data sources and service providers is set to be delivered thanks to a new national e-research infrastructure investment: The Australian Science Clouds. Learn more about the clouds and help TERN further tailor the Australian Ecosystem Science Cloud to meet your needs.

February 2017

  • A Technical Advisory Group is currently being established that will provide advice on the scoping and implementation of the project.
  • In the first iteration of the Australian Ecosystem Science Cloud reference datasets will be made available as a example of what’s possible.  These reference datasets are expected to include:
  • Remote sensing reference data (such as TERN AusCover’s Fractional Cover Product);
  • Long-term ecological monitoring data; and
  • Climate variables.
  • Scoping of the mediation layer and overall architecture of the cloud is underway.
  • Building a coalition of partners and collaborators for the cloud.


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