NCI Australia is bringing its nation-leading supercomputing, data and computational science expertise to a major project creating new treatment paths for cancer patients around Australia. Alongside key clinical, scientific and industry partners, NCI will be part of a major advance in cancer treatment.

As the leading national supercomputing facility, NCI’s role is to solve computational problems that are otherwise impossible to handle, and to run analyses at a scale beyond what others can achieve. Achieving this unique capability requires outstanding engineering skills coupled with domain-specific expertise. NCI’s large-scale computing power and secure storage of sensitive data effectively leverage the national peak supercomputing investments made in NCI.

The $185 million PrOSPeCT grant (Precision Oncology Screening Platform enabling Clinical Trials) from the Federal Government through the Modern Manufacturing Initiative will provide a major step forward in Australia’s genomic research, allowing fast screening of cancers to support clinical trials, drug research and development.  

This complex clinical, data and computing project is exactly the type of challenge that NCI exists to confront. This project will establish Australia as a medical manufacturing hub, build links from research to clinics, and change the lives of cancer patients across the country.


NCI will provide the sovereign data management, technical excellence and scale to support the genomic screening of Australians with cancers who have run out of treatment options. NCI’s dedicated facility and data management expertise provides a secure and controlled environment for the proper handling of sensitive patient data. At the same time, NCI will work with PrOSPeCT partners OMICO and Quantium Health to develop a sustainable business model to facilitate ongoing support for clinical trials, drug research and drug development in Australia. NCI’s participation in this project will grow its genomics and deep engineering expertise to meet ever more complex problems for the betterment of all Australians.

NCI Director Professor Sean Smith says, “NCI is playing a core underpinning role in this critical national project. We look forward to supporting the growth of clinical personalised medicine in Australia in parallel with our support for the genomics and bioinformatics research communities. Our integrated data management, supercomputing, software and science expertise is unique in Australia and will uniquely support this ground-breaking national oncology initiative. I am delighted to see this new project launch, building on existing investments in NCI as Australia’s research computing hub.”

The PrOSPeCT grant is led by the Australian Genomic Cancer Medicine Centre, Omico, with contributions from core partners NCI, Roche Australia, the Children’s Cancer Institute and the Minderoo Foundation. Additional support for the project is coming from Bayer Australia, Bioplatforms Australia, Elevation Oncology, George Clinical, Illumina Australia, Microba, Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute, Praxis Australia, Quantium Health, Sonic Healthcare, Southern Star Research, and Syntro.

The funding was jointly announced by the Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor and the Minister for Health and Aged Care Greg Hunt in a ceremony on Thursday the 17th of March at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. Read the original announcement.

For more information about NCI and its support for the Australian science community: