The University of Queensland has been selected to head up a new $50 million Federal Government-funded project to revamp the storage of research data.
Project director Dr Nick Tate told ZDNet Australia that the aim of the project is to create a national network of nodes, which can contain data sets that are of interest on a national level but are not currently widely available.
"The intention is to find a way of making data storage for research purposes as widely available as possible," he said.
Tate said that data collected on the Great Barrier Reef would be an example of a project that would have national interest.
"It's no good having islands of data. You want data to be available to researchers across Australia," he said.
The office for the project will be established at the University of Queensland, and a board is expected to be appointed by 1 March.
The organisers of the project will first consult with industry about where datacentre nodes should be located. The project will then set criteria for which organisations can apply to be part of the project, starting in June 2011. High-speed connections are a must, Tate said, adding that the nodes will be required to connect to Australia's Academic and Research Network (AARNet).
Recommendations on nodes will then be passed on to the Federal Government for final approval at the end of September.
Tate said the project will then accept applications from universities and other government-funded research organisations for research and data sets to be stored in the nodes. The project will also investigate the best method of connecting the nodes together into one network.