New Zealand eScience Infrastructure's Experience as National Research Infrastructure

The New Zealand eScience Infrastructure (New Zealand eScience Infrastructure) provides High Performance Computing (HPC) and supporting services to New Zealand research communities. In the course of its first eighteen months, it has learned a great deal wishes to share some of its experiences. This presentation will provide an overview of e-infrastructure supporting the research system in New Zealand, New Zealand eScience Infrastructure’s role within that system and touch upon how that e-infrastructure system feeds into New Zealand’s innovation system as a whole.

New Zealand eScience Infrastructure seeks to be the world’s most accessible supercomputing centre to accelerate New Zealand’s science outputs for the benefit of society at large.

Delivering on its aims to boost science requires that New Zealand eScience Infrastructure builds an infrastructure that focuses on broad needs while delivering on highly specialised requirements. The environment is complex, with multiple stakeholders, a scarcity of New Zealand-based people with the skills and capability, and diverse research communities each with their idealised computing environment. These challenges have proven to be surmountable, while making consistent progress challenging.

New Zealand eScience Infrastructure is a geographically distributed, nationally-orientated team. New Zealand eScience Infrastructure’s customer base extends beyond the walls of its constituting institutions potentially to all researchers nationally, including those in industry. Support structures, service levels, decision-making channels and other processes need to be consistent across each of the partners. New Zealand eScience Infrastructure’s temporal outlook is also long. It has invested heavily in creating an access policy, user support systems and an education programme to develop the capability of the entire research sector.

New Zealand’s research infrastructure providers have attempted to be responsive to the emerging needs of the research sector and the aims of government. An extremely close working relationship between New Zealand eScience Infrastructure and REANNZ has developed. This partnership ensures streamlined and efficient delivery of services shared between several partners.

Overall, New Zealand eScience Infrastructure had delivered significant value to New Zealand’s research sector. This will flow through into New Zealand-wide benefits at an increasing rate. We look forward to sharing our journey with you.

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Submitted by Tim McNamara on