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National Software Platform

National Software Platforms

Software platforms are online services that make it easier for researchers to access the data, tools and compute they need to get their jobs done.

Most software platforms aim to meet the needs of a specific research community.

QCIF is involved in the following software platforms:

Australian BioCommons

The Australian BioCommons is establishing community-scale bioinformatics services, in response to needs identified through community engagement activities.

Current services run by BioCommons’ partners include:

  • Galaxy Australia: a freely-available web-accessible platform that provides a broad range of bioinformatics tools, workflows and reference data sets.  

  • Bioinformatics Tool Finder: shows where hundreds of bioinformatics tools are installed across NCI, Pawsey, QRIScloud and Galaxy Australia. 

  • Australian Apollo Service: provides any Australian-based research group or consortium access to a fully supported Apollo Instance to host their assembled genomes for visualisation and annotation curation.

Help build the BioCommons by joining communities and discussing challenges and defining requirements for shared bioinformatics infrastructure.


With a launch planned for 2022, EcoCommons will provide researchers access to trusted, world-leading ecological and environmental modelling tools.

EcoCommons will transform ecological and environmental research by creating a trusted single platform for digital modelling and analysis needs. It will significantly reduce the time and wrangling needed to get from data to decisions to enable solutions for our environment and its future.

Existing platforms EcoCommons will bring together include:

  • ecocloud: delivers cloud-based computing tailored to ecological data and researchers. Ecocloud provides a platform that brings together servers, storage, databases, coding languages, training, analytics and more, over the Internet (“the cloud”) to offer faster innovative solutions, flexible resources and ongoing support.

  • Biodiversity and Climate Change Virtual Laboratory (BCCVL): a “one-stop modelling shop” that simplifies the process of biodiversity-climate change modelling. Its mission is to connect the research community to Australia’s national computational infrastructure by integrating a suite of tools in a coherent online environment where researchers can access data and perform data analysis and modelling.

The Australian Charaterisation Commons at Scale

The ACCS project aims to resolve the big-data challenges faced by microscopy facilities by providing tools, best practice guides, specialised training and knowledge sharing.

The ACCS will deliver a rich ecosystem of computing systems, data repositories, workflows, and services, connected with instruments for researchers who use characterisation techniques or imaging collections, and facility scientists who run instruments.

The Characterisation Virtual Laboratory (CVL) is a key platform of ACCS. 

Environments to Accelerate Machine Learning Based Discovery

  • ML4AU is a Machine Learning Community of Practice (CoP) which provides an opportunity for anyone interested in Machine Learning (ML) for research to collaborate over the emerging needs for ML capabilities and expertise in eResearch.

  • ML4AU provides information about training, data, tools and compute available in Australia.

An Australian Imaging Service

The Australian Imaging Service is establishing a distributed federation for the imaging and radiology sector consisting of multiple institutional deployments linked with a federated search layer, common community practice, support for expanded data types and a Trusted Tool Repository ensuring ongoing ownership and accountability of data.

XNAT is used as a basis to create a user-friendly imaging service platform for researchers. In Queensland, UQ’s Research Computing Centre operates XNAT.

Secure eResearch Platform (SeRP)

SeRP is a secure environment for sharing research data for collaboration and analysis, within the control and governance of the data custodian. SeRP enables the data custodian or the delegated project manager to have visibility and control over how their data is being used by other approved researchers.

QCIF is developing SeRP and it will become available on QRIScloud in early 2022. 

Other National Software Platforms, the ones QCIF is not directly involved in, can be found on ARDC's website.

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