EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Cross disciplinary collaboration for societal benefit across Australian Research Infrastructure Networks

Tim Rawling1, Beryl Morris2, Andre Zerger3, and Rebecca Farrington1
Tim Rawling et al.
  • 1AuScope Limited, Melbourne, Australia (
  • 2Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network, Brisbane, Australia
  • 3Atlas of Living Australia, Canberra, Australia

Earth systems including the geosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere complexly interact to create a planet on which life and humanity has thrived. Throughout history we have studied and observed all these systems, but too often there has been too little strategic integration of activities supporting observing and monitoring, storage and access to data, computing and modelling, and predicting future states. 

This has reduced our ability to quickly advance our understanding of the interdependence of these complex systems, particularly as data has often been collected in isolation, or to address a very specific research problem. The challenges to achieving such an integrated perspective are scientific, technical, social, political and organisational.

In order to address this issue the Earth and environment related research infrastructure facilities in Australia have self-organised to create the National Earth and Environmental Sciences Facilities Forum (NEESFF).  NEESFF is intended to harness the capacity of its environmentally-focused capabilities to collectively create solutions and deliver the information needed for sustainable development and use of environmental resources.  NEESFF’s vision is an effective and coordinated response to global environmental conditions in a uniquely Australian context. 

Many NEESFF organisations are funded through the National Research Infrastructure Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) which supports research activity across many STEM and HASS disciplines.  The Australian Government recently developed a Roadmap outlining the Challenges, opportunities for system enhancement and potential step-changes that the next phase of research infrastructure investment will drive.  These too are guided by national and global science and societal challenges and rely on underpinning robust and integrated FAIR open data systems across the RI network.

Here we will outline the national approach to these challenges, the current thinking on the data challenges that we face in an Australian context and the first steps we are taking as a community to develop a framework for the delivery of integrated Earth data.

Members are:  Atlas of Living Australia (ALA); AuScope; Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network (AURIN); Australian Research Data Commons; Australian Plant Phenomics Facility (APPF); BioPlatforms Australia; Geoscience Australia (GA); Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS); Australian Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN); Marine National Facility; Bureau of Meteorology; E2SIP (CSIRO); National Computational Infrastructure; and AARNet.

How to cite: Rawling, T., Morris, B., Zerger, A., and Farrington, R.: Cross disciplinary collaboration for societal benefit across Australian Research Infrastructure Networks, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-10908,, 2023.