NCI, as Australia’s national research computing service, provides world-class, high-end services to Australia’s researchers, the primary objectives of which are to raise the ambition, impact, and outcomes of Australian research through access to advanced, computational and data-intensive methods, support, and high-performance infrastructure.
NCI is supported by the Australian Government’s National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS). NCI operates as a formal Collaboration of ANU—the national research university; the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)—the national research agency; the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM)—the national meteorological agency; Geoscience Australia— the national geosciences agency; together with partnerships with a number of research-intensive universities, supported by the Australian Research Council.
NCI offers comprehensive and integrated high-performance services that cover the gamut of computationally based research, but with a focus in the environment, and in climate and earth system science in particular. The infrastructure investments have been provided by the Australian Government under its NCRIS and Super Science Initiatives, and include a 1.2 petaflop HPC system, a 3,200 core high-performance compute cloud, persistent disk storage of more than 49 PBytes, and a purpose-built data centre. Paralleling this is the considerable co-investment by the collaborating partners that collectively provide for all of the recurrent costs of the facility, the value of which exceeds the annualised value of the infrastructure.
What truly distinguishes NCI, however, is the depth of its engagement with research communities and research organisations, and the collaborative development of research environments/digital laboratories to enhance research ambition and outcomes in areas of international significance and national benefit—all of which is built around an expert team acknowledged for its innovation and well-run services.
Access to NCI services is available through:
- Shares for the co-investing partner organisations (ANU, CSIRO, Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Geoscience Australia, Intersect Australia, Queensland Cyberinfrastructure Foundation, ACE CRC, and a consortium of universities including ANU, Monash University, the University of Adelaide, the University of NSW, the University of Queensland, the University of Sydney, RMIT University, and Deakin University;
- The National Computational Merit Allocation Scheme, for researchers at publicly funded research agencies, and Australian higher education institutions that are eligible to receive funding from the Australian Research Council—based on research merit and computational suitability;
- The NCI Flagship Scheme for those projects that have been granted access to support under this scheme;
- Commercial and Industry Access Scheme