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Our journey

EcoCommons and our team, based at Griffith University, have a proud track record of building virtual laboratories in partnership with other organisations and organisations.

Our track record of innovation

EcoCommons’ history of building cutting-edge virtual laboratories began in 2014, when external funding from NCRIS allowed the eResearch team at Griffith University to build the first virtual laboratory called the Biodiversity and Climate Change Virtual Laboratory (BCCVL). Following BCCVL, three other virtual laboratories were built: ecocloud in 2018, tinker in 2018, and the Collaborative Species Distribution Modelling (CSDM) in 2019. Each was designed to support the unique needs of researchers and practitioners across different organisation types. Combined, these projects received around $3.5m of funding from external grants between 2014 and 2019.

Established in 2020, EcoCommons will re-engineer the core functions of existing platforms including BCCVL and ecocloud, and integrate them into a new platform with additional functionality, scientific workflows and processing capacity.

Our evolution

2014 - BCCVL was released

BCCVL, which is still in operation today and will soon migrate to EcoCommons, is a point-and-click environment where users from all coding experience levels have access to curated datasets and scientifically-approved modelling workflows they can use to build trusted models using an easy to use interface. BCCVL dramatically reduces the time to implement a species distribution model and raises the standard of modelling by enabling more comprehensive sensitivity analysis.

2018 - ecocloud was released

ecocloud, which is also in operation, is a command-line environment developed for the environmental space, where intermediate to advanced users can run their own scripted analyses on the cloud and can access high performance computation and free cloud storage. ecocloud will join EcoCommons’ full suite of digital modelling and analysis tools.

2018 - Tinker was released

Tinker, was a platform built for the Humanities and Social Science sector based on the platform developed for ecocloud. The Tinker project was one of the first national platform projects to adopt the technology innovations from the now EcoCommons program.

2019 - CSDM was released

CSDM, designed as a proof-of-concept, is a custom-made portal for specialised users in the government sector with shared responsibilities and interests in listed threatened species. Similar to BCCVL, the platform offers a point-and-click environment where users can access trusted curated data sets, as well as upload their own data in a secure workspace, and run customised analyses to inform the needs of governmental users. The CSDM also gives users the ability to publish model outputs and collaborate on results.

2022 - EcoCommons is scheduled for launch

EcoCommons will build on the success of existing virtual laboratories like BCCVL and ecocloud. The platform will re-engineer the core functions of BCCVL and ecocloud in an all new, single platform which will also offer new functionality, models with high computational power and free cloud storage.

Our platform milestones

May 2020
EcoCommons was established and the platform foundations were built

July 2021
BioSecurity Commons was established and the platform foundations will be built on EcoCommons infrastructure

October 2021
EcoCommons will open for platform testing offering core functions from BCCVL and ecocloud including:

  • Species Distribution Modelling (SDM)
  • Multi-Species Distribution Modelling (MSDM)
  • Species Trait Modelling
  • Climate Change Projections
  • Ensemble Modelling
  • Command-line environment on the cloud

May 2022
EcoCommons will open for platform testing offering new functionality and models including:

Nov 2022
EcoCommons will officially launch to the public offering new functionality and models including:

Our partners


  • Australian Research Data Commons
  • National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy
  • EcoCommons Australia received investment ( from the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC). The ARDC is funded by the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).

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