The University of New England has taken a step that will greatly enhance its researchers’ capacity to access the latest IT, communication and data management technology in collaborative research projects.
UNE has joined Intersect, the peak eResearch body for NSW. The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alan Pettigrew, and the Chief Executive Officer of Intersect, Dr Ian Gibson, met last week to sign documents confirming the University’s membership of Intersect for the next three years. UNE joins six other NSW universities that are already members of the network.
Dr Gibson said that Intersect had been established last year to facilitate collaborative research within an Information Technology framework. He said that universities such as UNE could contribute a vital regional perspective to the network.
Professor Pettigrew said that membership of Intersect was an important component of UNE’s strategy of extending its research capacity and influence through collaborative links with educational and research institutions both nationally and internationally. “UNE’s membership of Intersect will help to ensure that collaborative research programs take account of the needs of researchers in rural and regional areas,” he said.
Intersect is a participant in the Federally-funded Australian Research Collaboration Service, which provides a collaborative Information Technology infrastructure for data storage, management and security, platforms for collaboration, and capacity for high-performance computing.
An Intersect staff member – an eResearch Analyst – will be based on the UNE campus to facilitate a close working relationship between Intersect researchers and IT, Library, and Research Services staff at UNE. Dr Gibson said that Intersect was currently in the process of hiring on-campus staff for all its member universities.
UNE’s Acting Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Ray Cooksey, said the eResearch Analyst would “work with UNE staff to develop eResearch projects and capabilities that make sense for UNE strategically, and that draw upon the power of the collaborative network that Intersect brings together”. “This can include gaining access to Federal money set aside for specific types of eResearch capability development within the Government’s “Superscience” infrastructure Budget allocation,” Professor Cooksey said.
Clicking on the “Internet Map” image displayed here reveals a photograph of Professor Pettigrew (front left) and Dr Gibson signing the Intersect membership documents. Standing behind them are (from left) Grahame Pearson (UNE’s Research Development & Integrity Manager), Professor Cooksey, and Dr Markus Buchhorn (Intersect’s Director of Services).