Planning digital research infrastructure for life science: the Australian Biomolecular Data Capability

A/Prof Andrew Lonie1

1University Of Melbourne, Carlton, Australia


Many research disciplines have advanced, community-sourced roadmaps for digital infrastructure in Australia; unfortunately, biosciences isn’t one of those disciplines.

Bioplatforms Australia, through the EMBL Australia Bioinformatics Resource and associates, is working to define an ‘Australian Biomolecular Data Capability’ – national research infrastructure to support widespread access to the critical data, tools, compute, techniques and training required for high quality analysis of digital data in biosciences. This means understanding the different types of researchers using and doing bioinformatics, what their needs are, what is happening globally, and how we can work together as a country to benefit locally and engage internationally. If done properly, we believe this work will inform and influence national infrastructure investments in this space long term, particularly the planned ‘National Research Data Cloud’.

In this talk I will provide an overview of the ‘Australian Biomolecular Data Capability’ project and discuss the process and progress to date, including engaging with the bioinformatics community and future plans.


Andrew Lonie is Director of the Melbourne Bioinformatics, Director of the EMBL Australia Bioinformatics Resource (EMBL-ABR:, and an associate professor at the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne, where he coordinates the MSc (Bioinformatics). Andrew directs a group of bioinformaticians, computational biologists and HPC specialists within the Melbourne Bioinformatics and EMBL-ABR to collaborate with and support life sciences researchers in a variety of research projects across Australia


AeRO is the industry association focused on eResearch in Australasia. We play a critical coordination role for our members, who are actively transforming research via Information Technology. Organisations join AeRO to advance their own capabilities and services, to collaborate and to network with peers. AeRO believes researchers and the sector significantly benefit from greater communication, coordination and sharing among the increasingly different and evolving service providers.

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