A new Tropical Data Hub has been launched at James Cook University in Townsville to provide data on critical issues confronting the Australian tropics.
Minister for Science and Research, Senator Chris Evans said the hub formed part of $72.5 million worth of new funding for the Australian National Data Service.
Senator Evans said it would allow Australian researchers to access comprehensive information collections to inform their work on a range of issues.
“This hub will help our researchers to better access, store and exchange complex data, and tackle global issues like environmental sustainability,” Senator Evans said.
“The Townsville region faces some of the most challenging issues of our time, including environmental change and rapid population growth.
“Building up our information store on coral bleaching and global warming could help us protect the Great Barrier Reef, a natural treasure that generates about $5 billion each year in tourism income to boost Australia’s economy.”
He said research data available at the hub would assist in predicting the flow of oil spills off the coast of Australia and better inform salvage and clean-up work.
“The data hub is a great example of how national collaborative research infrastructure can help solve some of the complex challenges faced today for the benefit of industry, the community and individuals,” he said.
“James Cook University is working with the Australian National Data Service, the Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation and other project partners on the initiative.”
Senator Evans said the Commonwealth had committed more than $5 billion to transforming Australia’s tertiary education, research and training infrastructure since 2007.