Genomics Aotearoa and New Zealand eScience Infrastructure partner to advance genomics research capabilities in New Zealand

New Zealand eScience Infrastructure (NeSI) and Genomics Aotearoa have announced a partnership that will deliver advanced capabilities and enhanced tools for genomics research in New Zealand.

Building upon NeSI’s existing platforms and services, the collaboration will provide Genomics Aotearoa research projects with access to NeSI’s specialised high performance computing (HPC) platform, including tailored software environments and data management services, and skills training in computational research tools and approaches. Once established, many of these capabilities will also be available to all genomics researchers in New Zealand.

Genomics Aotearoa, funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) Strategic Science Investment Fund, is a partnership of seven universities and Crown Research Institutes, established to ensure that New Zealand is internationally participating in and leading the rapidly developing fields of genomics and bioinformatics. 

Genomics Aotearoa Director Professor Peter Dearden has welcomed the partnership with NeSI, saying the digital technology and support is an essential step for Genomics Aotearoa to develop genomic and bioinformatics capability in New Zealand.

“This capability will allow New Zealand to undertake world-class research in what is a very fast-changing field, and will support researchers to respond to New Zealand’s unique needs in health, environment and primary production.”

To underpin this partnership NeSI has recruited new bioinformatics expertise. They are already working alongside genomics researchers to better understand their current and future needs, while also working on code optimisation and deployment, genomics application installation, onboarding researchers new to using NeSI’s platform, and other support activities.

“Supporting genomics research today and tomorrow requires a specialised and powerful technology ecosystem, and an inclusive partnership with New Zealand researchers, communities, and Te Ao Māori,” says Nick Jones, Director of NeSI. "Working with NeSI’s newly launched high performance computing platform and its specialist team of experts, researchers are able to attack the largest-scales and complexities of data available within New Zealand.

"We are combining this power with tools like virtual lab environments, visualization capabilities, and other data management services, while tailoring these to our unique New Zealand situation and Te Ao Māori. We’re working to enable Genomics Aotearoa’s aims to build genomics research capability in New Zealand."

“This is one of several such partnerships we are developing with New Zealand’s science communities, to strengthen computational capabilities in research and equip our science sector for the future.”

Earlier this month, NeSI and its investors -- the University of Auckland, the University of Otago, Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research, NIWA, and MBIE -- launched a new High Performance Computing Facility in partnership with NIWA. The facility hosts a new HPC platform comprised of three new interconnected supercomputers and a high performance data analysis environment. NeSI is rolling out new and improved services that will leverage this platform and support projects across fields of research, from genomics to machine learning to climate modelling. The platform is now available to all researchers in New Zealand, who can apply for access through NeSI.

For more information:

Jana Makar
Communications Manager, New Zealand eScience Infrastructure
27 645 1612

Claire Grant
Communications Manager, Genomics Aotearoa
University of Otago
03 479 9761  l  027 489 4471


About New Zealand eScience Infrastructure (NeSI)

New Zealand eScience Infrastructure (NeSI) enables researchers across a wide range of communities and disciplines to tackle large or highly complicated problems and to investigate scientific challenges that were previously impossible. NeSI makes approaching these problems easier for researchers through offering a specialised platform of computational and analytics software and services powered by supercomputers, and placing strong emphasis on support and training alongside the raw power of its technology platform. NeSI is a collaboration of the University of Auckland, the University of Otago, Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research, NIWA, and MBIE.


About Genomics Aotearoa (GA)

Genomics Aotearoa, is a partnership of seven New Zealand universities and crown research institutes. It is undertaking nationally significant research activities supporting New Zealand’s economic, environmental and social wellbeing. It has established national collaborations in health, environment and primary production, and has funded projects across these three key research themes. The projects are underpinned by the development of a national genomics data repository and bioinformatics analytical platform, and by enabling and growing the skills and capability of researchers in New Zealand. Te Ao Māori is at the centre of these activities, through research undertaken by and for Māori and embedding Māori management of indigenous genomics research practice and data.

NeSI Genomics Aotearoa