Framework for eResearch Adoption - Project Background

The Advanced Network Capability Building Roadmap 2007-2009 was commissioned by REANNZ as part of the KAREN Capability Build Fund Output Agreement with MoRST to provide a three to four year plan for eResearch capability building. The Roadmap built on the vision and goals already established for KAREN and was designed to:

  • Provide KAREN members with a national framework, within which complementary local activities can be planned
  • Assist agencies such as MoRST and TEC with policy development
  • Guide the Capability Building Advisory Panel’s activities for 2007-2009
  • Give the Advisory Panel and other interested stakeholders an up to date overview of activities internationally and in New Zealand
  • Reflect the views of the KAREN community, gained through feedback from key representatives, and
  • Provide a basis for ongoing discussions between REANNZ, the KAREN community, the research community, the wider network of KAREN stakeholders in government, education, industry and the cultural sector.

The 2007 Roadmap was prepared approximately 4 months after KAREN went live and well before researchers at New Zealand’s universities and CRIs recognised the full potential of eResearch services and infrastructure enabled by the advanced network. While REANNZ’s role is to manage the advanced network and while they have outreach programmes to build value for KAREN members they do not have policy or funding capacity to do more.

The Government has provided approximately $9.2 million on capability building in two rounds. The first round of $4.8 million was administered through REANNZ under the guidance of the Advanced Network Capability Build Panel. Projects funded through this process are included on the KAREN website at https://reannz.co.nz/cbf-projects/ While these investments supported eResearch capability they did so through individual research projects and didn’t necessarily have a wider impact. The second tranche of funding, $4.4 million, was administered through MoRST, was used to fund the development of some national infrastructure and services within the eResearch stack.

The second tranche of the CBF was used to support the foundation building blocks for an eResearch ecosystem in New Zealand. There are five components to this:

  1. Establishing a support centre for advanced video collaboration: AVCC Centre
  2. Developing GRID middleware, that is software to manage access to distributed HPC and data resources: GRID Middleware project
  3. Developing a national identity management federation to allow scientists to safely share data and resources over KAREN and internationally: IAM Project
  4. Creating shared data and digital repository: Shared Research Repository for research organisations and pilot semantic data modelling project
  5. Connecting remote eligible member sites to KAREN: Hardship Fund

The Government’s capability build funds have been fully contracted with no current provision to seek more funding. It is timely to review the actions and priorities within the 2007 Roadmap in order to consider how adequately eResearch capability, services and infrastructure needs are articulated and supported within the current policy framework and organisational designs.

To learn more about the project, read the terms of reference.