NeCTAR gets $4.9m from government

Education minister unveils funding allocations for NCRIS facilities

Education and training minister Christopher Pyne has revealed the funding split for facilities funded under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS).

The government's second budget, unveiled on Tuesday, included for the NCRIS program.

Funding allocations announced today for the program in 2015-16 include $4.94 million for National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (NeCTAR), which runs a significant OpenStack-based cloud service for researchers, $5,668,000 for the Pawsey High Performance Computing Centre, and $5,196,000 for Research Data Storage Infrastructure (RDSI).

In total, 27 facilities are funded under NCRIS.

Earlier this year the future of many of those facilities seemed uncertain with the government linking NCRIS funding to changes to Australia's higher education that were blocked by the Senate.

Universities warned in an open letter in March that the government’s approach to NCRIS risked major damage to research programs and said that if operational funding was not confirmed for research facilities the government would "be effectively decommissioning high-cost public infrastructure that in many cases has years if not decades of productive working life remaining".

"NCRIS delivers world class research facilities, providing access to precision instruments, world class data and analytical capacity as well as high quality technical and support staff, so that Australian researchers can solve complex problems both here in Australia and around the globe," Pyne said in a statement today.

"A stronger research sector is vital to a prosperous future for Australia, and this renewed backing reflects how committed the Government is to supporting their essential work."

"This new injection of funding will also boost our ability to participate in international research initiatives like the Square Kilometre Array," Pyne said.

Read more: 2015 budget wrap-up

The government has commissioned a review of research infrastructure, which will likely decide the long-term fate of NCRIS. The government's National Committee of Audit, whose report was released last year, recommended its abolition.

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Tags NCRISresearchNeCTARBudget 2015Universities AustraliaNational Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy

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