Antarctic researchers will have access to cutting-edge AI infrastructure, as part of a new partnership between the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) and the Australian Research Special Research Initiative Securing Antarctica’s Environmental Future (SAEF). NCI is one of the Australia’s leading supercomputing and big data facility, that enables transformative science through big data and computing technologies, platforms and expertise.

NCI’s Director, Prof Sean Smith welcomed this partnership with universities, science agencies, industry and the Australian Research Council.

“We are delighted to be one of the key stakeholders of SAEF to provide cutting edge technology to tackle the challenges that degradation of Antarctica poses to all of us. Our integrated hardware, services, and expertise aim to radically improve high-performance computing (HPC) capabilities available to Australians across all domains”.

SAEF is an interdisciplinary research and workforce development initiative delivering leading Antarctic and Southern Ocean science for the benefit of Australians, our neighbours in the Asia-Pacific, and society around the globe, in the context of a changing climate.

Through the partnership, SAEF researchers will have access to up to 24 Million Service Units (MSU) of computing time and 132 terabytes of data storage per year. The NCI will also offer technical support, training and workshops to support skill development in a field that is rapidly advancing.

SAEF researchers work across a diverse range of disciplines that use large volumes of data, such as climate modelling, biodiversity modelling, genomics and bioinformatics. NCI’s high-performance computing infrastructure will enable the data-processing and analyses crucial to this research.

SAEF’s Biodiversity Theme Lead, Professor Melodie McGeoch from Monash University said the new NCI partnership will provide transformative computation power to SAEF researchers.

“Our scientists conduct a diverse range of data-intensive research, from climate and biodiversity modelling to genomics and bioinformatics. These computing resources will enable rapid advancement in our research and be vital to unlocking the knowledge we need to safeguard the Antarctic region.”

The dedicated researchers and institutions involved in this collaboration are determined to make lasting contributions to our understanding of the environment and the conservation of vital ecosystems.

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Photo of the Antarctic Peninsula, 2020. Credit: Steven Chown
Photo of the Antarctic Peninsula, 2020. Credit: Steven Chown.