The Minister for Science and Research, Senator Chris Evans, has announced the part-time appointments to both the CSIRO Board and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) Board.

Professor Thomas Spurling is being reappointed to the CSIRO Board, and Ms Shirley In’t Veld, who has expertise in commerce and law, broad knowledge of the energy sector and extensive experience as a business manager, will join the board for the first time.

Appointments to the ANSTO Board are Professor David Copolov (who is being re-appointed) and Professor Judy Raper.

The Research Data Storage Infrastructure (RDSI) Project, a $50 million Federal Government project that aims to transform the storage of research data has revealed the location of its first five nodes in Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide and Hobart.

The University of Queensland (UQ) is leading the program on behalf of the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIISRTE).

Dr Nick Tate, RDSI Project Director who is based at UQ, said each of the five nodes would receive funding under the Research Data Storage Infrastructure scheme. He announced that:

Intersect  will establish a primary node in Sydney

Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation (QCIF) will establish a primary node in Brisbane

• Australian National University will establish a primary node in Canberra

eResearch SA (eRSA) will establish a primary node in Adelaide

• The University of Tasmania will establish an additional node in Hobart

The department funds the program from the Education Investment Fund under the Super Science (Future Industries) initiative.

Professor Max Lu, UQ's Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, said further nodes would be announced in the near future.

“The project will be a significant boost for researchers around Australia who are capturing and processing of enormous data sets,” Professor Lu said.

“The powerful potential of ‘big data', combined with the significant computing capability that the Government is also investing in, will transform research in many areas, including astronomy, genomics, physics and environmental studies.

“The recent announcement of Australia's involvement in the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is an example of this rapidly growing area. SKA's dishes will produce data each day equal to about 10 times the current global internet traffic.”

Dr Tate said the RDSI project's storage capacity was expected to grow to 100 petabytes.

“This is many times the size of existing systems,” he said.

The RDSI project aimed to develop a national network of distributed data stores where research data could be readily accessed, analysed and re-used and to support the retention and integration of nationally significant data assets.

It aims to:

• Identify, strengthen and develop research data centres, or nodes, that can hold and process high data volumes

• Identify research data holdings of lasting value and importance and contribute funding to their development at the most appropriate nodes

• Provide the widest possible range of general data sharing and movement infrastructure suitable for data-intensive research activities.

“The project's goal is to develop a coherent and integrated national research data environment, building on the strengths of different providers,” Dr Tate said.

“It aims to ensure a co-ordinated and collaborative use of these resources. This will support enhanced research outcomes through greater access to, and sharing of, research data.”

Dr Tate said consultations with the sector were held during 2010 and 2011, and the project office was established at UQ in 2011.

“Feedback revealed a preference for a distributed model for the RDSI in which services would be developed on the basis of existing local strengths, and the decisions on the location of the first five nodes reflect this,” Dr Tate said.

The University of New South Wales will host a new centre targeting primary care in obesity to improve access to services and management of the widespread, chronic condition.


The Centre for Obesity Management and Prevention Research Excellence in Primary Health Care has been funded by the Commonwealth Government under a $7.5 million ANU Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute program.


One in four adults and one in 12 children are obese in Australia and the UNSW-based centre will help people with lifestyle changes to achieve their weight goals, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Sydney, Deakin University and the University of Adelaide.


UNSW Professor Mark Harris will lead the new research program.


UNSW will also partner with the University of Technology, Sydney and the University of Queensland in the Centre of Research Excellence in the Finance and Economics of Primary Care.

Australian businesses can now access the R&D Tax Incentive program to help with the costs of innovation.  The R&D Tax Incentive will support firms of all sizes in all sectors to invest in research and development.


Businesses can now register to receive the R&D Tax Incentive for eligible activities undertaken in the 2011-12 income year.


"The R&D Tax Incentive is a generous, targeted, and easy to access program that offsets some of the costs of doing R&D so that more businesses innovate," said Greg Combet, the Minister for Industry and Innovation.


"We know that innovation is important - ABS statistics show businesses that innovate are twice as likely to boost their productivity and are 2.5 times more likely to increase staff.


"More businesses doing R&D will strengthen Australia's innovation culture and secure our nation's economy into the future."


For businesses with a turnover of less than $20 million, the R&D Tax Incentive doubles the rate of support compared to the old R&D Tax Concession. For all other businesses the R&D Tax Incentive increases the support available by a third. 


AusIndustry is holding registration-ready workshops to help SMEs, first time registrants and smaller consultants/tax agents better understand and register for the R&D Tax Incentive.


A smart form is now available so that Australian businesses can register for the new R&D Tax Incentive.


The registration smart form is available at, together with detailed guidance material and the details of upcoming workshops, or contact AusIndustry on 13 28 46.

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