Management of the EcoCommons Australia platform will change at the start of 2024 following discussions among its partners and supporters.
The management of the platform and the team will transfer from Griffith University, where it has been based since May 2020, to the Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation (QCIF) on 1 January 2024.
QCIF is a non-profit organisation that provides cutting-edge digital infrastructure capabilities for research and innovation across Queensland and Australia. It was the lead organisation for the EcoCommons partnership between 2020-2023, which makes this change a natural progression for the program.
The move provides an exciting opportunity to leverage QCIF’s technology in partnership with EcoCommons, the Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC) and our other project partners – Atlas of Living Australia (ALA), Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN), Griffith University, the Centre of Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis (CEBRA) at the University of Melbourne, CSIRO, Macquarie University, University of New South Wales Sydney and the Queensland government via the Research Infrastructure Coinvestment Fund (RICF).
This partnership will ensure the ongoing delivery of this significant service to the thousands of ecologists who use EcoCommons for their biodiversity and ecological modelling is sustained into the future.
What does this mean for users?
There will be no change to services for EcoCommons users and you will be able to continue using the platform in 2024.
User support and communications will pause during a transition period from 15 December 2023 to late January 2024 and will return after this period.
What happens next?
In the new year, the EcoCommons team will continue to consult on the national needs for an ecological and biodiversity modelling platform to ensure user needs inform future development pathways.
The ARDC is co-investing in EcoCommons as part of its Planet Research Data Commons initiative, building on eight years of support.
Planning for the development of new functionality, informed by ARDC’s Planet Research Data Commons Ecological and Biodiversity Workshop Report findings has already commenced.
Sach Jayasinghe, Chief Executive Officer at QCIF, said: “While the immediate priority is the smooth transition of the EcoCommons project to ongoing national research infrastructure, I am most excited about working with ARDC and our other partners on advancing the EcoCommons platform for the benefit of the research and end-user community.”
Dr Elisa Bayraktarov, EcoCommons Program Manager, said: “EcoCommons is a fantastic data and analytics platform with so much potential. The project will continue to explore funding pathways next year as it looks to secure its future as the platform of choice for analysing and modelling ecological and environmental challenges.”
Professor Brendan Mackey, Director of the Griffith Climate Action Beacon at Griffith University, said: “Griffith University is proud to have supported the development and implementation of EcoCommons, building upon the previous years of work with the BCCVL and ecocloud. We look forward to continuing to work with QCIF and partners in this next exciting phase.”
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