Supporting leading-edge research

The National Data Assets initiative is a strategic activity for the ARDC’s Data and Services theme. Over 2019-2022, this initiative will enable the ARDC to establish strategic partnerships with research communities and institutions to develop a portfolio of national-scale data assets that support leading-edge research. This approach will create long-lived data assets that leverage existing research and administrative investment to ensure ongoing sustainability and stewardship.

Underpinning this initiative is the principle that collections of data can be national research infrastructure when they:

  • support leading edge research (research excellence, impact, priorities)
  • are national in scale (multi-organisational aggregation, use, and governance).


The six programs in this initiative ensure a balanced portfolio of:

  • data custodians (NCRIS facilities / research organisations / research disciplines and domains / public and private sector)
  • beneficiaries (research / industry / public policy / education)
  • data collection maturity types (established / emerging)
  • research system outcomes (research innovation / research efficiency / research integrity).

Open calls for participation in these programs will be staggered over the next 18 months.


Our programs at a glance

There are six initial programs proposed under the National Data Assets initiative and they are described below. As a general principle there will be open calls for participation in these programs, and each program will have their own Expression Of Interest (EOI) and Request For Proposals (RFP) definitions (eligibility, strategic outcomes and criteria). It is envisaged that each program will result in a number of projects.

#ProgramPurposeARDC InvestmentOpen call commences1Project durationProject participants
1Cross-NCRIS National Data AssetsEstablish cross-NCRIS facility collections to support multi-domain science and research translationUp to $400KMar 202024 months
Q4 2020
At least two NCRIS facilities as project partners
2Australian Data PartnershipsEstablish and develop national data assets to support leading edge research & broader impactUp to $500KJuly 202030 months
Q4 2020
Consortia of Australian organisations
3Public Sector BridgesOptimise use of and access to public sector data for specialised research purposes beyond the agencies’ core business.Up to $350KMay 202030 months
Q4 2020
At least one research organisation with an Australian public sector body as project partners
4Emerging CollectionsIncubate the development of emerging national scale collectionsUp to $50KTwo calls:
Oct 2020
Oct 2021
6 months
from Q2 2021
and Q2 2022
Australian research organisations
5Institutional Underpinnings1. Catalyse system-wide good institutional practice for FAIR data
2. Support distributed national scale assets
TBATwo calls:
Oct 2020
Mar 2021
TBAAustralian universities and publicly funded research agencies
6Health Studies Australian National Data AssetBuild a (distributed) national data asset from the outputs of NHMRC funded health studies to enable meta analysis, guideline development and data linkage2Up to $200KNov 202018 months
Q2 2021
Consortia of health studies research organisations
1 Current proposed schedule. Subject to change
2 An initial open call for assistance with the design phase for a health studies national data asset concluded in Jan 2020
timeline overview national data assets

 Indicative timeframe for all for National Data Assets  programs: open call to announcement of successful project

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Australian Data Partnerships

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Public Sector Bridges program

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Health Studies National Data Asset program

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Cross-NCRIS National Data Assets

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