The Australian Characterisation Commons at Scale

  • Powell, David (Primary Chief Investigator (PCI))
  • Goscinski, Wojtek (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Bonnington, Paul (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Quenette, Steve (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Abbott, David F. (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Abramson, David (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Ali, Rubbiya (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Andrade, Jason (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Barth, Markus (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Betbeder-Matibet, Luc (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Beves, Jonathan (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Bond, Charles (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Boyd, Benjamin (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Bryant, Gary (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Cairney, Julie (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Colmer, Tim (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Egan, Gary (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Etheridge, Joanne (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Frazier, Jane (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Galloway, Graham (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Gentle, Ian (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Gilbert, Andrew (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Gray, Mark (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Hilder, Emily (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Janke, Andrew (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Johnstone, Tom (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Kemp, Carina (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Lay, Peter (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Love, Steven (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Martinez, Paula Andrea (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Mehnert, Andrew (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Moffat, Brad (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Mulvaney, Paul (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Raston, Colin Llewellyn (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Thordarson, Pall (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Weyland, Matthew (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Oijen, Antoine Van (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Sexton, Patrick (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Sullivan, Ryan P. (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Ward, Nigel (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Warr, Gregory (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Wepf, Roger (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Wilson, Lance (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Whisstock, James (Chief Investigator (CI))
  • Yen, Lisa (Chief Investigator (CI))

Project: Research

Project Details

Project Description

Characterisation is the process of measuring the properties of materials across all scales. It is essential across natural, life and biomedical sciences and engineering. This community shares a number of data challenges, and we work together to overcome them.
The Australian Characterisation Commons at Scale (ACCS) will develop a coherent and accessible informatics landscape that promotes collaboration, increases ROI, and delivers value to researchers.
The ACCS will deploy a Characterisation Commons (CC) for thousands of researchers who use characterisation techniques, facility scientists who run instruments, and researchers using imaging collections, and will uplift the research capability offered to industry. The outcome will be a rich ecosystem of computing systems, data repositories, workflows, and services, connected with instruments. We will apply software-defined models, containerisation, and Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI-CD) to lower the burden of operating services, so that we deliver a broad capability, across four nodes: Monash, UQ, USyd, UWA.
We will coordinate the implementation of persistent identifiers (PIDs), schemas, and formats to manage findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR) data.
We will run a national training and outreach program that will both develop content and work in partnership with centres of excellence.
To enable sustainability we will build strong links between institutions and our services.
The CC will underpin techniques including electron (EM) and light microscopy, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magnetoencephalography (MEG), electroencephalography (EEG), positron emission tomography (PET), X-ray CT, nuclear and synchrotron techniques, cytometry, secondary-ion mass spectrometry, X-ray diffraction, scattering techniques, and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). We will undertake 3 specialised programs that combined bridge the resolution gap from macrostructural to the atomic level:
Big Data Electron and Correlative Microscopy from Instrument to Publication addresses the challenges generated by new EM and light techniques. This includes cryo-electron microscopy (CryoEM) which is becoming broadly available across Australia, and new material techniques.
Biomedical Imaging Collections and Analysis addresses the collections-based research being undertaken across the fleet of Australian imaging instruments, including those across the National Imaging Facility (NIF), medical research institutes and clinical sites.
National Tools for Scattering and Beyond will integrate environments for scattering data such as that obtained at ANSTO and will be broadly applied to other techniques including NMR or drug discovery.
Through a number of work packages we will develop a suite of resources, with many entry points, but all will be accessible from a user portal.
The CC aligns with the strategies of three NCRIS facilities, two initiatives such as the Medical Research Future Fund, two ARC CoEs and flagship proposals, flagship instruments. It has co-investment from 10 Universities, and aligns with a number of key international projects.
Short titleThe Characterisation Commons
Effective start/end date7/02/2031/12/23


  • AARNet Pty Ltd: A$240,000.00
  • Australian National Imaging Facility (NIF): A$30,000.00
  • University of Melbourne: A$237,733.00
  • University of South Australia: A$12,500.00
  • Flinders University: A$12,500.00
  • Monash University – Internal University Contribution: A$298,400.00
  • Monash University – Internal University Contribution: A$298,400.00
  • Australian National Imaging Facility (NIF): A$30,000.00
  • QCIF - Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation Ltd: A$520,104.00
  • RMIT University: A$12,500.00
  • University of New South Wales (UNSW): A$208,625.00
  • University of Queensland : A$175,416.00
  • University of Sydney: A$319,600.00
  • University of Western Australia: A$160,000.00
  • University of Wollongong: A$255,233.00