Intersect News #78 March 2015

4 Mar 2015

NSW NeCTAR Research Cloud now online

Intersect has announced the commission of $1.5M delivering 4,500 additional CPU cores to the NeCTAR Research Cloud, (, boosting national capacity to approximately 32,000 cores. The new processors are now online and available throughout NSW and Australia.

The NeCTAR Research Cloud removes the burden from researchers of operating their own physical computer infrastructure. It enables researchers to host websites, databases, virtual labs, applications and online tools without hardware – easily, quickly and flexibly.

The NeCTAR Research Cloud is part of Intersect’s new offering, and makes critical differences by enabling:

  • researchers to respond rapidly with instant access to computing resources and applications
  • access anywhere, anytime
  • researchers to share computational results easily
  • research applications, data and findings to be shared with collaboration partners

NeCTAR Director, Professor Glenn Moloney says, “The new Intersect cloud node will support the highly diverse computational and collaboration needs of researchers in NSW and complements Intersect’s recognised role as a driver of research innovation, including in the NeCTAR Virtual Laboratory and eResearch Tool programs”. More at

NeCTAR is an initiative of the Australian Government being conducted as part of the Super Science Initiative and financed from the Education Investment Fund, and the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy.

New Board Member

Mr Andrew Pedrazzini, OAM has joined the Intersect Board. A senior ICT executive with over 25 years’ experience across NSW Government, the Australian Defence Force, large enterprises and telecommunications companies, Andrew is currently Director Infrastructure in NSW Health.

The Chair, Board members and the executive would like to extend their thanks to retiring Board Member Damien Israel.

Mobile phone app for clinical trials

Mobile phones are the most commonly used form of technology worldwide and are increasingly used to promote health-related behavioural change and self-management of care. Clinical trials using mobile phone interventions show promising results in terms of compliance, feasibility and high participant satisfaction.

The APProve-Lite project has built a novel mobile application to remind patients of their tasks, assess maternal breastfeeding outcomes, monitor maternal and infant infections and measure the acceptability of using the mobile app itself. APProve-Lite supports the APProve (CAn Probiotics ImPROVE Breastfeeding Outcomes?) Trial in order to collect daily information on treatment compliance and symptoms related to the health and well-being of trial participants.

The first Intersect component is nearing completion and researchers at Clinical and Population Perinatal Health Research at the Kolling Institute, University of Sydney are currently deploying the application.

Infrastructure Update

The latest statistics:

  • Technical infrastructure assets under management: $5M
  • Data under management: 1120 TBs
  • Nationally significant research collections under management: 80
  • Data subsidy terabytes: 5000

RDSI/ Space merit subsidies reminder

As emailed to data custodians in December 2014:

The RDSI Project has released timelines for completion of ingestion and accordingly applicants that enjoy a merit allocation must begin their data ingestion into Space before 30th June 2015.

While we would like all successful applicants to be able to maximise their allocations we understand that many may not be able to within these timeframes. If this is you, we’re asking for you to voluntarily release your allocation so that it can be redistributed to other projects in the interests of resource efficiency. Please speak with your local Intersect eResearch Analyst about your individual situation or contact to discuss.

For more information and FAQs about this please see our website

Intersect partners with Functional Grains Centre

A/Prof. Chris Blanchard, Director of the FGC launches the Functional Grains Centre at Charles Sturt University.

Intersect is a partner in the newly launched ARC ITTC Functional Grains Centre (FCG) and will assist with secure storage and collaboration between its industry partners that include Flavour Makers Pty Ltd, Grain Growers Ltd, Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council Limited, MSM Milling Pty Ltd, NSW Department of Primary Industries, Sunrice, Teys Australia, and Woods Group.

“This new centre will have a particular focus on adding value to our rice, canola and pulse agricultural products, transforming a commodity-based industry to one that is highly efficient, with innovative products for market,” said Professor Aidan Byrne CEO of the Australian Research Council.

Hear A/Prof Chris Blanchard, Director of the centre describe plans for the centre and opportunities for the grains industry:

More information: The Functional Grains Centre website.

Congratulations Professor Barney Glover

The Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Western Sydney Professor Barney Glover, will become the next Chair of Universities Australia.

Current Chair, Professor Sandra Harding said, “Professor Glover will make an outstanding Chair of Universities Australia. In his career Professor Glover has demonstrated a deep knowledge and executive leadership role in research and a passionate commitment to encouraging broader participation in higher education”.

“Indeed the University of Western Sydney is something of a microcosm of contemporary Australia with its hallmark diversity, inclusiveness and determined aspiration to improve the world. Professor Glover has been very much a part of that thrilling progression to wider participation in higher education, of which we are all proud”, Professor Sandra Harding said.


The following sessions are scheduled to take place in the near future:

For more information, see

Grants support

In the recent round of grant applications, Intersect has assisted with

  • 25 Discoveries
  • 2 ARC LIEF grants and
  • 8 ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA)s.

Most of this support is around creating data management plans, and in some instances it includes Intersect services to enhance the proposals. For more information on Intersect’s grant support, see


Intersect is currently recruiting a Software Engineer. For more information, see


The following people have recently joined Intersect:

  • Dr. Frankie Stevens as eResearch Analyst for Southern Cross University
  • Sophie Nguyen as Marketing Manager
  • Aidan Wilson as Data Analyst
  • Shaun Muscat and Owen Cassidy as Casual Testers
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