Intersect News #46 July 2012

8 Aug 2012

Intersect to establish NSW Research Data Node

The first five nodes of the $50 million Research Data Storage Infrastructure (RDSI) project have been announced. The storage network is intended to transform the way in which research data collections are stored and accessed in Australia.

Four primary nodes have been announced – one to be established by Intersect in Sydney, a Brisbane node at the Queensland Cyber infrastructure Foundation, the ANU will establish a node in Canberra and eResearch SA will set up a node in Adelaide. An additional node will be established by the University of Tasmania.

These are the first of eight to ten nodes intended to underpin the national storage network, which by 2014 will offer Australian researchers access to around 100 petabytes of data collections.

RDSI along with the National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources (NeCTAR) research cloud are two main pillars of the Government’s Super Science initiative which is being financed through the Education Investment Fund.

The RDSI programme is led by Nick Tate, based at the University of Queensland. The University of Queensland (UQ) is leading the program on behalf of the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIISRTE).

Nodes in the RDSI will be connected by AARNet but using a separate wavelength to other data traffic on the network to avoid the transmission of large data collections “flooding” the AARNet backbone.

RDSI has already established a vendor panel which can supply equipment to the nodes and 14 vendors had been accepted onto the panel: ASI Solutions; Cisco through Dimension Data and Frame Group; Data Direct Networks; Dell; EMC Australia; Frontline; Hitachi Data Systems; Intersect; NetApp; Safewell; SGI; and, XOStor.

More NeCTAR projects announced

NeCTAR has announced another round of completed agreements. The following project will involve Intersect:
Extension and Enhancement of Systems for the Australian Schizophrenia Research Bank, for the Schizophrenia Research Institute.

This research tool (NeCTAR funding $639k, co-investment $1019k) will extend and enhance the Australian Schizophrenia Research Bank (ASRB).

The ASRB enables researchers to study the genetic underpinnings of schizophrenia and diagnostic subgroups within it, with the aim of leading to improved treatments and preventative strategies.

Intersect built the ASRB in 2009. A secure commercial grade system the ASRB revolutionised the way schizophrenia research data is collected, stored and disseminated in Australia.

CareTrack technology developed by Intersect

It was hard to miss the news in July that Australians only receive “appropriate” healthcare 57% of the time.

The CareTrack study is the first national overview of clinical care in Australia, studying the level of care provided to a sample of 1,154 adults for 22 of the most common conditions. It found that while parts of the Australian healthcare system were excellent, major deficiencies still existed, particularly in providing the proper care for conditions such as high blood pressure or sinusitis.

Intersect is excited about the success of both the research and the tool used to collect the research. Intersect built the data collection system, database and web applications that managed the data collection.

CareTrack Australia Project Manager Tamara Hunt says, “We contracted Intersect to design a web-based tool for users to enter data accessed from medical records in hospitals, general practices, specialist facilities, physiotherapy and chiropractic practices.

“The tool provided secure data access, data encryption, offline data collection and subsequent database synchronisation (to mitigate against problems of fire-walls and poor internet connectivity in various healthcare settings). Inbuilt algorithms directed users to enter data specific to the healthcare setting, patient demographics and clinical condition.

New staff

Sanjeet Sharma is Intersect’s new Senior Systems Administrator/ Team Leader. Sanjeet is an ICT professional with over ten years experience in a broad range of systems, networks and security technologies.  Previously Sanjeet worked in the Information Technology Services Department of the University of the South Pacific in Fiji. At Intersect, he is tasked to oversee the deployment and operation of significant IT infrastructure services and ensure continuous and high level performance.


We have a couple of junior level Software Engineer positions available.  Details are on our website at

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