Current projects

2017-18 Characterisation Data enhanced Virtual Laboratory (DeVL)


National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (Nectar), Australian National Data Service (ANDS) and project partners

Partners and collaborators


The aim of this project is to make a significant contribution toward addressing the three major challenges identified in A Collaborative Australian Characterisation Informatics Strategy* (PDF, 120KB)

  • Scale and complexity: Increasing data volumes and processing requirements; custom and specialised instrumentation requiring custom workflows; increasing need to perform analysis “in-experiment”; analysis of data from multiple instruments requires specialised skills and familiarity with the data
  • Working with digital objects: Data remains unpublished, is difficult to reuse, and it is often unclear whether it can be trusted; data curation is a second priority to publication and data is often non reusable; research software is often closed source and impossible to validate, can be challenging to newcomers and is often very specific to particular problems; research outcomes are difficult to validate and are often not reproducible; to increase return on investment research outputs need to be machine readable
  • Expertise is rare: The characterisation community is increasingly reliant on data-science skills; digital expertise coupled with applied characterisation knowledge is rare; cross modality analysis requires multiple areas of expertise; where knowledge is available it is often inaccessible beyond a local node or institution

The program is implemented through a number of activities, including:

  • Making characterisation digital objects more Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR).
  • Extending rich online environments for characterisation in the cloud and on HPC platforms for specific areas (e.g. creating or extending domain specific CVL Workbenches, building toward a national fabric for CryoEM processing and data management, creating a prototype CVL Windows desktop)
  • Extending data processing workflows (developed in prototype under an earlier CVL project) to cover a broader range of instruments
  • Importing existing data processing workflows into CVL from the Australian Synchrotron
  • Augmenting an existing data management environment to publish and provide DOIs for data and connect data seamlessly to the CVL for processing
  • Working towards establishing Trusted Data Repositories

* The document A Collaborative Australian Characterisation Informatics Strategy (PDF, 120KB) was produced by a writing group with representatives from Monash University, Microscopy Australia, ANSTO and NIF, based on the outcomes of a series of open Characterisation Informatics workshops held in February and May 2017, involving stakeholders from Microscopy Australia, ANDS, ANSTO, BPA, Monash, NeCTAR, NIF, RDS, UMelbourne, UNSW, UQ, UoW, UWA, USydney, Agilent and NVIDIA.

Past projects