Partnerships across the research landscape
Each year NeSI publishes an Annual Review to celebrate the work we do,
the people we work with, and the groundwork we're laying for future directions.
Below is an excerpt from our 2022 Annual Review.
NeSI supports a broad community of research institutions, research groups, and researchers across disciplines, using diverse eResearch methods and technologies. As part of Aotearoa New Zealand’s critical digital infrastructure, NeSI is well-positioned to support future-focused approaches to national research priorities that contribute to the wellbeing of current and future generations.
Contributions to digital research leadership kōrero
As 2022 drew to a close, MBIE shared a range of strategic documents that support conversations on the shape of Aotearoa’s research ecosystem into 2023 and beyond. From mapping the country’s research infrastructure to setting a broader direction for the reform of the research, science and innovation system, the vision and conversations shared around MBIE’s Te Ara Paerangi, Kitmap, and eResearch reports inform and shape NeSI’s own core values and aspirations.
During 2022 NeSI connected with Universities NZ’s Research and ICT Committees, and Science NZ’s CIO Committee. Across these audiences, all were interested in the Te Ara Paerangi, Kitmap, and eResearch reports and any implications for the eResearch community and NeSI. Discussions explored sector needs and goals to support research involving sensitive data6, and responded to continued interest in NeSI’s Flexible HPC environment, particularly from potential institutional tenants.
Data as a first-class asset
Research data is a valuable asset. There is a collective desire to improve how institutions and research communities manage research data. Notable milestones included the establishment in mid-2022 of the inaugural Aotearoa New Zealand Committee on Data in Research (CoDiR) and the global Research Data Alliance (RDA) preparing to celebrate its 10-year anniversary in 2023.
NeSI’s work in research data continues to deliver significant community growth and related outcomes:
- Our ongoing journey in Te Ao Māori is shaping our perspectives and supporting essential collaborations.
- Our work in sensitive data is lifting cybersecurity partnerships and capabilities
- Our deep connections with specific data-focused research communities open up exciting new scope for applications of eResearch to lift research outcomes.
- Collaborations in 2022 with Australia’s Research Data Culture Conversation (https://www.researchdataculture.org/) helped build a regional view of the challenges for institutions in the research data space
- NeSI supported CoDiR’s efforts nationally to build bottom up community connections and shared awareness on a broad array of research data topics.
- On the global stage, NeSI Director Nick Jones attended the Research Software Alliance’s International Funders Workshop: The Future of Research Software to connect, engage, and bring back insights for the Aotearoa context.
Looking ahead, ongoing discussions continue with the RDA in preparation for their global community coming to Brisbane in 2025 for International Data Week.
Partnerships across the research landscape
Last year was capped by growth across our national partnership network, with a steady stream of new small Subscribers joining existing institutional partnerships with universities and Crown Research Institutes. Our eResearch NZ 2022 conference, co-hosted with Genomics Aotearoa and REANNZ, was themed Building Capability Together | Waihanga Āheitanga Kotahitanga. It remained a valuable forum to engage with many of our partners and was delivered fully online due to Covid-19 precautions at the time; we hosted 301 attendees, including 113 students.
Strong partnerships with key national research programmes remain critical to NeSI providing meaningful services and support for national research priorities. In 2022 we attended annual hui for Genomics Aotearoa and the Antarctic Science Platform where we were able to learn about the groups’ ongoing research ambitions and pressures as part of the kōrero to feed back into our own infrastructure investments and training plans.
Regionally, NeSI continues to strengthen its collaborative relationships with NCI Australia, Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC), Australian Biocommons, AARNet, and the Australasian eResearch Organisations (AeRO).
In one of NeSI’s first post-pandemic outings, a mix of NeSI team members attended eResearch Australasia 2022, presenting on NeSI’s Flexible HPC platform and involvement in the AGDR and Rakeiora projects, and participating in community discussions around data management, digital skills training, workforce and research community-building, and diversity & inclusion approaches.
Further trans-Tasman collaboration will see NeSI, NCI and Pawsey host a return of the Australasian Leadership Computing Symposium (ALCS) in Canberra in June 2023, showcasing smarter and faster national research powered by HPC, AI and Data Science. NeSI provided scholarships to a small cohort of New Zealand researchers to participate in the ALCS programme.
Supporting capability growth through partnerships
In 2022, targeted in-person training workshops were co-designed and delivered with a number of partners to support and grow capability-building initiatives, customised from NeSI’s core training offerings:
- Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) – A NeSI-hosted workshop delivered an HPC-focused upskilling opportunity through MPI’s 2022 High-Throughput Sequencing Training Programme.
- New Zealand Carbon Farming (NZCF) – A Python for Ecology workshop was taught over four sessions to NZCF researchers, who will apply the training directly to their research methods.
- Strong AI Lab (SAIL, University of Auckland) - In late 2022, NeSI facilitated a workshop for SAIL researchers to build their knowledge on LambdaStack container workflows, an AI platform operated by NeSI in partnership with SAIL on their GPU supercomputer platform. This workshop was attended by doctoral students who benefitted from a detailed insight into software functionalities and its impact on their research.
- Antarctic Science Platform (ASP) – As part of ASP’s annual hui, Early Career Researchers involved in the Platform attended a NeSI overview and demo session as part of a variety of training tutorials offered to equip them with the tools they need to achieve their research and career goals
If you'd like to receive a printed copy of our review, get in touch.