QCIF and AURIN support Griffith’s Regional Innovation Data Lab

QCIF and partner AURIN are supporting Griffith University’s new Regional Innovation Data Lab (RIDL), which aims to unlock the power of data to accelerate the development of flourishing communities.

RIDL’s data-rich environment provides new opportunities to fast-track innovative solutions that address long-standing urban and regional problems by using “place”, rather than discipline or agency, as the data-linking framework.
With the right data ecosystem, RIDL aims to deliver a place-based data platform to enhance research, improve policymaking and empower communities.

RIDL started operating in June this year. An official launch is being planned for early 2019.
Griffith, QCIF and AURIN (Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network) are working together to develop RIDL’s data resources. QCIF’s compute service QRIScloud will host the new data sets, which will be made available through the AURIN workbench.
QCIF geospatial data expert Letitia Sabburg is sponsored to assist AURIN and Griffith in gathering meaningful data sets, describing and loading them into the AURIN workbench.
For its first project, RIDL will provide data insights for Logan Together, a community movement to improve the lives of families in Logan, south of Brisbane.
RIDL is working with Logan City Council, QCIF and AURIN to aggregate and analyse spatial and other demographic data to help address Logan’s social and community issues and needs.
With a small team of three, including a data scientist/Web developer and statistician, Program Director Dr Tom Verhelst regards QCIF and AURIN’s assistance as invaluable. “Without QCIF and AURIN, RIDL would not be possible,” he said.
“The data gathered by AURIN and QCIF is the first layer of data we employ towards creating these holistic place-based data sets. There is a natural partnership between QCIF and AURIN who provide the hard infrastructure, spatial expertise and have a network within multiple state and federal agencies.”
Dr Verhelst said Ms Sabburg has been instrumental in providing digital tools for the team’s first use-case and has been collecting and integrating a range of data sets for Logan Together. “Her experience in GIS [Geospatial Information System] data is of high importance to ensure new data is linked in the appropriate way.”
RIDL has even appointed former QCIF CEO Rob Cook as its inaugural Chair. “Rob’s experience in a number of high-growth entrepreneurial organisations, including QCIF, his track record with large research e-infrastructure programs, his knowledge of the data space and his leadership on start-up boards makes him an ideal chair for RIDL,” said Dr Verhelst.
Dr Verhelst said the use of QRIScloud to host the data sets provides a level of trust for state and local government that the data is stored securely. “Hopefully this trust allows us to use more sensitive data to address some of our more complex regional challenges in the future.”
RIDL is currently working on a series of projects with Griffith’s Policy Innovation Hub, Logan Together and the Logan and Redland City Councils, and is casting its net wide for urban and regional issues to focus on.
Dr Verhelst said it was clear that Griffith had multiple research groups and institutes that could use a common data lab focused on place-based data. “We believe RIDL is uniquely placed to leverage research expertise within Griffith to address any regional challenge.”
Griffith University and RIDL are actively searching for partnerships with other universities and non-governmental organisations. “Learnings can be shared across the country, uplifting data use and data savviness across Australia, and hopefully inspiring a generation of data entrepreneurs,” said Dr Verhelst.
For more information about QCIF’s geospatial data services, please contact Nigel Ward: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Regional Innovation Data Lab Program Director Dr Tom Verhelst.